THE GOING-AWAY PARTY
And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their fathers, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the LORD your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The LORD your God did to the Jordan just what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God.”
Celebrate the provision of God with your heart and your mind.
Crossing the Jordan River on dry ground during flood season was a miracle. The season of wandering in the wilderness had officially concluded and entering the Promised Land was a fresh start for the Israelites. Unknown in the moment, there would be many upcoming battles; the Promised Land was no cakewalk. God instructed the Israelites to gather twelve stones from the river to always be mindful of and proclaim how God, by His grace and power, dried up the Jordan. These twelve tangible reminders were also part of the celebration of what God had accomplished for His people.
Spiritual amnesia (forgetting the great works God has done on our behalf) ceased every time the Israelites saw and talked about the twelve rocks. Worship, feasts, and celebrations in the Bible originated from God, who wants us to dwell on His goodness. How do you intentionally remember what God has personally done for you in your transitions? Remembering special moments from your past can help you become more aware of God’s many gifts to you. Boyd’s Lodge was our family’s summer escape and vacation tradition when I was a child.
I thank God when I recall turtle races (more exciting than it sounds), water volleyball, homemade donuts, cotton candy flavored ice cream (served in a large portion called ‘The Doozy’), rides in yellow kayaks, family bonds, quaint cabins, and prayers by the lake. We look at pictures, relive stories, and wear T-shirts to celebrate the memories.
Many people rush from one day, one month, or even one season to the next without ever stopping to appreciate the power and provision of God. This common mistake usually leads to an ungrateful heart. You know the situations and the locations where God has met you in a personal way. Take the time to consider your journey and how you have seen God’s hand at work in your life. Journaling, annual conferences, weekend vacations, meals with family and friends, and extended times of worship are all ways to connect with God and enjoy what He is doing in your life.
Celebrating is sometimes the godliest option you have as you express your gratitude to God. Grateful people keep the blessings in their lives on the forefront of their minds and celebrate God’s grace wholeheartedly.
What have been some of the most satisfying moments in your walk with God?
For more from Pastor Jesse Bradley and Activate Media Ministries, visit www.activatelife.org