by Sarah Langness

There’s a 28 mile stretch of highway that connects Beulah to Interstate 94. This stretch is filled with memories for me. Like the times I headed back to Fargo after a weekend at the Lake with my good friend Sam. Like the time I had to drive in the southbound lane when I was actually headed north because the snow, wind and drifts made the road impassable at points. Or like the one time when I had to pull off and take a nap at the start of a trip to visit my friend Carmen because my 6-week-old pregnant self demanded afternoon naps. All these memories and more came to remembrance as I wound up and down the hills.

Remembering is good. Sometimes it is difficult, even painful. But as we look back and remember, we see how the Lord has provided. How He has protected. How He has gifted. How He has blessed. How He has been.

Throughout His Word, the Lord encourages us to remember. One example can be found after the Israelites finally crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land after 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. The LORD told the Israelites to erect memorial stones once they reached Canaan to remember what He did for them.

“‘. . .Each of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of Israel. Let this be a sign for you, so that when your children ask later, saying, “What do these stones mean to you?” then you shall say to them, “Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.” So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever.'” – Joshua 4:5-7 (emphasis mine)

Sometimes, it’s easy to forget. Sometimes it may temporarily seem best to forget. But as we remember events, people, places and circumstances that we have faced, we see His hand. At the time of the trial, at the moment of heartache, or in the midst of the joy, we can sometimes overlook the Lord. This isn’t what He would have us to do.

What do our modern-day memorial stones look like? Maybe it’s a photo, or an entire photo album. Maybe it’s journaling. Maybe it’s simply taking time every once in a while to stop and reflect.

And in our remembering, may we always bring back all thanks and praise to the One who has indeed provided, protected, gifted, blessed and been ever-present with us.

“Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all my good pleasure’,” – Isaiah 46:9-10