One day this past week I was begging the Lord to remind me of the good things of 2020. Begging. Little things as well as several big things came to mind…eventually. One for instance was when we had a cancer scare with one of our children, but praise the Lord, it was not cancer. But I wanted more from this year and ultimately from God, almost as if he owes it to me. He doesn’t. In that moment, other examples of his provision and sovereignty came to mind. Again, I wanted more. Why? Has 2020 really been THAT bad? Not really. But disappointment after disappointment seemed to be mounting. I got irritated for not being more grateful. My daughter didn’t have cancer! Why couldn’t that be enough to carry for me a lifetime?
As I was praying and kept asking the Lord to reveal his truth, Joshua 4 came to mind. When I studied it a year or so ago, I vividly remember wondering “how in the world did they need a reminder of what God had done?”
In Joshua chapter 3 to 4, the Isrealites are needing to cross the Jordan River. Joshua tells them the Lord needs one man from each tribe, 12 total, to cross the river before the ark of the covenant crosses. He says as soon as they step foot in the water, the water will stand up and they will cross on dry land. He tells them the day before to get ready because the Lord is about to do something amazing (my paraphrase, but please read it!! It really is amazing)! That is exactly what the Lord did! They crossed the Jordan River with a wall of water standing straight up. The Lord told Joshua to tell the 12 men to collect a rock from the middle of the Jordan as a reminder of what the Lord had done there. Can you imagine seeing a water wall as you crossed over a dry river?! How in the world could anyone forget that?
Similarly, in my own life, how did I forget what a BIG thing the Lord had done for my own child? How in the world had I lost sight of such a precious, generous gift of her life? There didn’t seem to be enough “bad” in all of 2020 that could make that seem less valuable or important, but somehow in the midst of my own fear, pain, and grief of a year that was disappointing at best, I did lose sight.
As 2020 comes to a close, I don’t want to dwell on the things that were a let down. No, I want to dwell on the way the Lord sustained me, showed me, grew me, stretched me, and delighted me. I want to collect rocks and write all the ways his sovereignty carried me through this year in particular. Then, when my children grow up, year after year, we can look back on those rocks and remember the goodness of our Father — how he has never failed us, but sustained us. He sustains our joy, our hope, our love, and our future. Had he chosen to take our daughter home to him, and one day he will, I want to stand firm in the ways he has sustained me for my good and his glory. I would love for you to join me in writing on the rocks. Writing out the ways you saw him work, move, grow, love, stretch, and sustain you. Let’s worship him together for all he has done!