The Olympics pretty much rock. I'm not athletic and I don't follow many of events, but when I do see them, it is awesome. A couple of nights ago I caught just a few minutes of the halfpipe event, and was excited that Shaun White (the only name this non-athlete recognized) hadn't gone yet. I tuned in just in time. It was hard to watch though, as he crashed the first time, and then didn't score high enough for a medal. Bummer. (All of this is really unrelated to this blog post, I just wanted to look like I was cool for a second :)
Another Olympian I heard about yesterday was a free-skier named David Wise. But the story wasn't about his event, which may or may not have happened yet - not sure. It was a simple story about how anytime he goes away somewhere, whether a trip, a hike, fishing, or a skiing event, he finds a heart-shaped rock to bring back to his sweet wife to let her know she was thought of. This is a picture from his Instagram of the one he is bringing back to her from Sochi.
Sweet, right? It is good to have reminders. His wife collects these rocks, and when she sees them, she can remember all the times she has been thought of and missed while he was away from her.
I was reading in my Bible not that long ago about some other stones that were used as reminders. In Joshua chapter 3, Joshua was following God's direction and leading the Israelites across the Jordan River. God explained with detailed instruction that He would divide the water in the river, allowing the Israelites to cross right through it. God wanted to give them the confidence they would need for the situations they would soon face. On a side note, I LOVE that God did this. Chapter 3 verse 10 says, "This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites." He knew what they would need to trust Him, and cared enough to make sure they would be ready.
So moving along, in Chapter 4, they had finished crossing the river, with things happening just like God said they would. He told Joshua to set up 12 stones that had been in the middle of the river bed, one stone for each of the 12 tribes of Israel. In verse 6 and 7, he explained why. "... In the future, when your children ask you, 'What do these stones mean?' tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever."
Then at least four other times, rocks were used as reminders for other things that had happened.
I think I need some rocks. There have been so many times God has answered prayers for me. A few days ago God brought a few of those to mind. It is so easy to forget the goodness and faithfulness of God. Sometimes we focus on the times God answered our prayers differently than how we wanted, and we start doubting the power of prayer. But we must remember however it is answered, it is always for His glory. And there are other times prayers are answered exactly like we asked, and in a way that is only possible through God, and soon after we just go on about our daily lives, and those times get put way in the back of our minds.
It is crazy that we could forget something so awesome as the God of everything listening to one simple human being among the other 7 billion humans living and breathing right now...and not just listening, but caring and working things out because we are asking.
Maybe piles of rocks all over my house wouldn't be the best plan, but something more doable in terms of space, like a prayer journal, would be a way to do that. A place that I can remember when I fasted a weekly meal and prayed for weeks for specific friends to get closer to Jesus, and they did. A way I can remember that I prayed for God's presence to be felt in Noah's school, and a Bible study was started there at lunchtime by a pastor I don't know. A place I can remember when many people prayed for my sweet niece to be born healthy, while tests were showing she wouldn't be, yet she was. A reminder of when a kid in Noah's class kept getting in trouble and having problems with school work, we prayed for him daily, and by the end of the year Noah said that kid was doing so much better in class.
All we do is ask God; He answers. He loves and cares that much. The least I can do is remember, and to share those stories with my child, and with anyone else who will listen.
What kinds of things could you set up some rocks for?
"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness."