Digging ditches for standing stones

It is so comforting to me that our Father God knows our needs.  He knows what our humanity is like.  Not only did He make us, He also walked as one of us.  He not only knows what His original design of us is, He also experienced personally the effects of our sin and this dying world on our human bodies.  This gives me so much peace and joy.  He knows.  And His Love for us combined with His knowing… shows up over and over in the Word and in my own life.

Now when all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the LORD spoke to Joshua, saying, “Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from each tribe, and command them, saying, ‘Take up for yourselves twelve stones from here out of the middle of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet are standing firm, and carry them over with you and lay them down in the lodging place where you will lodge tonight.”
Let this be a sign among you, so that when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ then you shall say to them, ‘Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD ; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever .” (Joshua 4:1-3 & 6-7)

Yahweh knew that we would forget.  He knew that time changes our perspective.  He knew that our remembrance would fade.  And so He helped Joshua and the tribes make an architectural, geographical, artistic, giant scrapbook.  Standing stones.  So when the people and their descendants passed by, they would remember the ways God cared for them.

I’ve been a fan of Standing Stones for years.  Have you watched any of Ray Vander Laan’s dvd series, That The World May Know? I loved his discussion of standing stones in “Standing at the Crossroads.”

Today I am running my fingers over the texture of my standing stones.  I’m leaning in to smell the rock.  I’m resting against them.  I’m choosing to remember.

My Father God has done incredible things in my life. I have been showered over and over with His Grace and Mercy. His Love. Forgiveness. Redemption. Restoration. Hope. Life. Rescue. Salvation. Deliverance. Light. Peace. Passion. Vision. Rest. Healing. Power. Joy. Provision. How can I say everything He has done? It is impossible. The waves of His ministry to my life are unending.  The constancy of His presence is unwavering. The fullness of His sovereignty is unchanging.

Oh, what a wonderful God we have! How great are his riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his methods! For who can know what the Lord is thinking? Who knows enough to be his counselor? And who could ever give him so much that he would have to pay it back? For everything comes from him; everything exists by his power and is intended for his glory. To him be glory evermore. Amen.   (Romans 11:33-36)

That is one of my all time favorite passages.  Oh, what a wonderful God we have!

After years of declining health and going from doctor to doctor looking for answers, yesterday I got an answer.  I got to have an appointment with a doc who is famous for finding answers when no one else can.  And yesterday the questions and concerns, that have been rolling in my mind for so many years, were finally silenced.  I finally have a diagnosis and a treatment plan.

Today I’m filled with relief but also with sadness.  Today I have the good news that it is treatable.  Today I also have the knowledge that the treatment will take 3 – 5 years.  Today I have a sad knowledge: I cannot be pregnant during treatment.  I’m finding myself in a time of joy, hope and grief.

This morning as I cried about not having more children, God spoke something precious to my heart.  The timing of this diagnosis is good.  If I’d been diagnosed when I first started looking for answers, we wouldn’t have had our second baby.  I’m finding a new level of joy in parenting this little boy today.  If I’d been diagnosed in high school when I first started having problems, I would have a totally different life.  All those “what ifs” are reminders today of how much I love this life I have.  Thank you Father for your small and big mercies. Thank you for your Love and beautiful plan.

And my amazing husband spoke Truth to my heart about all the feelings I’m dealing with: God is big and He is sovereign.  No one but my Father God knows what the years ahead hold. I love the promise of Psalm 139: All of my days are written in His book.  Again, He knows.

My row of standing stones display my journeys of life and pain, and His amazing power and redemption.  I will not forget all that God has done.  I dig new ditches today in anticipation that I will have more standing stones of testimony in the months and years ahead.

Praise the LORD, I tell myself; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.   Praise the LORD, I tell myself, and never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He ransoms me from death and surrounds me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s! The LORD gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly. He revealed his character to Moses and his deeds to the people of Israel. The LORD is merciful and gracious; he is slow to get angry and full of unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He has not punished us for all our sins, nor does he deal with us as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our rebellious acts as far away from us as the east is from the west. The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he understands how weak we are; he knows we are only dust. Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone –as though we had never been here. But the love of the LORD remains forever with those who fear him. His salvation extends to the children’s children of those who are faithful to his covenant, of those who obey his commandments! The LORD has made the heavens his throne; from there he rules over everything. Praise the LORD, you angels of his, you mighty creatures who carry out his plans, listening for each of his commands. Yes, praise the LORD, you armies of angels who serve him and do his will! Praise the LORD, everything he has created, everywhere in his kingdom. As for me — I, too, will praise the LORD.   Psalm 103

What about you? Need to lean against the standing stones in your life?  Need to remember the history you have with God?  Need to dig some ditches and have a heart of expectation for the next season with God?  What is He speaking to your heart about the things you are facing today?

(Note: Dear readers, I understand that many women can’t have babies at all and that I should be grateful for the two I have.  Yes.  But, I am not okay with the idea that I should find joy and contentment by comparing my life with the lives of others.  I feel that living comparatively is an unending roller coaster. I want to deal with my life in the light of my own life and the Truth of God’s Word only.  I’m reminded of 1 Chronicles 21, when David counted the tribes to compare his own to the others.  There is always going to be someone better-off and worse-off than each of us.  I don’t believe I will find real peace by comparing myself to others.  I ask for your grace in this area.  I hope my heart on this makes sense and that I have not offended anyone.)

6 thoughts on “Digging ditches for standing stones

  1. Serenity says:

    Oh how God can challenge our most well-laid plans, or even vague thoughts of future plans, with bittersweet news! I am thinking and praying for you and all I can share is a verse that has meant so much to me over the last years, “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3. Other versions use the phrase “him whose mind is stayed on You”. Praying for peace as you start treatment and explore what God has for you over this next season.

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