As we approach the one year anniversary of Coronavirus hitting the US and leading to lockdown for most of us, many people find themselves reflecting on the last year. Reflecting on the past, is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is something we must do carefully. In Joshua 4, we are given a godly perspective on how to look back at the past.
Joshua 4:1-3: “After the entire nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord spoke to Joshua: 2 “Choose twelve men from the people, one man for each tribe, 3 and command them: Take twelve stones from this place in the middle of the Jordan where the priests are standing, carry them with you, and set them down at the place where you spend the night.”
Then jumping down to verse 20:
20 Then Joshua set up in Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken from the Jordan, 21 and he said to the Israelites, “In the future, when your children ask their fathers, ‘What is the meaning of these stones?’ 22 you should tell your children, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ 23 For the Lord your God dried up the water of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, just as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up before us until we had crossed over. 24 This is so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord’s hand is strong, and so that you may always fear the Lord your God.”
God’s instruction to us is not to forbid looking back at the past; but rather, with intention and purpose, look back at what God has done for us. I think there are a few key things to remember about this:
- It’s easy to let our memories of the past become jaded and focused only on the negative, especially in a year like this. Just think about your day-to-day life, you can have a pretty good day going, but if a fender bender happens, all of the sudden you feel like your day was a bad one. Hundreds of things went right that day, but you will hold on to the negative thing.
- God wants us to be intentional about remembering the good, especially the good He has brought us. What happened to the Israelites in this passage is not something they would easily forget. In fact, none of them would probably ever forget it. Still, God tells them to create this memorial of crossing the dry river bank of the Jordan river. Why? because he knew it will be easy for them to put it into the back of their mind. He wants a visual reminder, not only for them but for their children, that will remind them of the way God loves them and provides for them.
So, our challenge to you is, as you look back at this strange year, with purpose and intention, remind yourself of all the good; remind yourself of all the times God provided, showed you love, and helped you and your family grow. Find a rock and write a positive memory from 2020 on it. You and your children can look back on it and be reminded of the wonderful things that happened in a year full of such craziness.
Read the previous Sunday School blog post HERE