September is quickly passing through and before we can take in our next breath of the fragrant summery air, chimneys will be filled with smoke and autumn’s leaves will be falling. We will soon be in the company of dear family and close friends sitting around the table for Thanksgiving dinner and sharing our thoughtful stories of thankfulness for this year.
A couple of years ago, my wise sister in law, Sherry, inspired me by writing about something she was thankful for each day on Facebook for the entire month of November. I LOVED the idea and followed her lead for two years. I didn’t quite realize at the time how it could impact someone else’s life. I just wanted to remind myself of the things I was thankful for, not only on Thanksgiving, but every day of that month. On one occasion, a high-school classmate noticed what I was sharing and wrote a private message to me stating that it was encouraging her. While she had a pessimistic attitude toward life, she began looking at life with a different perspective. If it positively affected just this one sincere gal, then it was worth all the effort.
When all the people had crossed the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, “Now choose twelve men, one from each tribe. Tell them, ‘Take twelve stones from the very place where the priests are standing in the middle of the Jordan. Carry them out and pile them up at the place where you will camp tonight.’”
So Joshua called together the twelve men he had chosen—one from each of the tribes of Israel. He told them, “Go into the middle of the Jordan, in front of the Ark of the Lord your God. Each of you must pick up one stone and carry it out on your shoulder—twelve stones in all, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant went across.’ These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.”
So the men did as Joshua had commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan River, one for each tribe, just as the Lord had told Joshua. They carried them to the place where they camped for the night and constructed the memorial there.
Joshua also set up another pile of twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan, at the place where the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant were standing. And they are there to this day (Joshua 4:1-9).
Before the Israelites conquered the Promised Land, God wanted them to build these memorials as a way to remember His provision and faithfulness for generations to come. In fact, Jeremiah 32:20 states, “You performed miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt—things still remembered to this day! And You have continued to do great miracles in Israel and all around the world. You have made Your name famous to this day.”
Look again. Jeremiah said, “Things still remembered to this day!” I’m not a theologian but I can imagine that many, many years, possibly hundreds of years, had passed before Jeremiah wrote that statement.
It’s His will that we give Him thanks in all things (1Thessalonians 5:18). So don’t save your thanks just for Thanksgiving Day. Start today and share of His faithfulness with your parents, children, and even grandchildren.