Joshua 4:4-7 – Joshua called out the twelve men whom he selected from the People of Israel, one man from each tribe. Joshua directed them, "Cross to the middle of the Jordan and take your place in front of the Chest of God, your God. Each of you heft a stone to your shoulder, a stone for each of the tribes of the People of Israel, so you'll have something later to mark the occasion. When your children ask you, 'What are these stones to you?' you'll say, 'The flow of the Jordan was stopped in front of the Chest of God as it crossed the Jordan — stopped in its tracks. These stones are a permanent memorial for the People of Israel.'" (MSG)
My new Bible had more bells and whistles than a streetcar! There were teaching notes, maps, and diagrams to add insight to the Word. The leather cover was fresh and clean. But I didn't like it. I couldn't put my finger on it, but that book just made me feel uncomfortable. I decided that it was because of the different wording of a new version. I persevered, and read, underlined, and scribbled my way through it.
Eventually, my study took me back to Psalm 64, the place where I had begun in my new Bible several months before. The first verse says, "Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint. Preserve my life from dread of the enemy." (NRSV) Beside it, during a trying time in my life, I had penciled this note in the margin: "Given to me while praying, February 25/91". I had found the missing link. The "uncomfortable" Bible was now an old friend, full of my personal memories of God's faithfulness.
Years before, a seasoned Christian had chided me for not making notes in my Bible. "Always remember," she had said, "the Word is holy, but the book isn't."
God has met each one of us in many special ways. The covers on our Bibles might become worn and tired with many years of use, but throughout the pages, God has spoken to us with love, compassion, and correction. When we scribble those little notes to ourselves, they become our "stones of remembrance", and they will serve as reminders to us, and to all who read them.
Prayer: Dear God, thank You for answering our prayers so many times. Thank You for meeting us in every area of our life, and for giving us all those memories of who You are, and how faithfully You have met us in our times of need. In Jesus' name. Amen.
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