Traditions are good for so many reasons. They bring a comfort and consistency in turbulent times and create a unique culture for your home. Habits to be counted on: cinnamon rolls on Sundays, fried turkeys, Maple Nut Coffee Twist and Pumpkin Cookies on holidays, naps on Sundays, college football and Cowboys fun, hot baths for mom every night where no kids are allowed near the bathroom. Things we do to celebrate and remember who we are and why we live the way we do.
God asked the Israelites to erect a stones of remembrance after He had done a mighty work for them. “When all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, 2 “Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, 3 and command them, saying, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests’ feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.’” (Joshua 4)
He asked them to create a way for them to remember what He had done for them so that one day when their kids who didn’t remember that great mighty act of God could be told the stories of His goodness.
“When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ 7 then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.”” (Joshua 4)
21 And he said to the people of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 22 then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ 23 For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, 24 so that all the people’s of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.” (Joshua 4)
Every year for Jake’s Birthday, Brad’s parents put Happy Birthday balloon’s out that week and then we let them go on his birthday. It is a way for us, our kids, family and friends to be reminded of the Lord’s goodness and mercy.
What “stones of remembrance” do you need to celebrate today? Are you in a place where you can’t see His hand in a situation? Go back and remember the last time you saw Him move and create a “tradition” to celebrate it. It doesn’t have to be big – it might just be a word of comfort He gave you for the day – write it out and remember it. In the Bible study I teach on Wednesday mornings, I am challenging the ladies to allow God to give them a word for the day in their Bible reading and mediate on that throughout the day. They often post a pic of the word He gave them to remember it throughout the day. This can be your simple stone of remembrance. One word, throughout the day, one message.
Perhaps you can’t see any hope. Grab hope from our story but also open your Bible and seize the goodness of the Lord in the pages of His people. Knowing those stories builds your faith. Borrow our faith for a minute, but then get in there and do the work with Him until it becomes so yours. He is ready to give you your stone, your Word, your tradition. He wants to celebrate with you today “that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”