Joshua erected a monument at The Gilgal, using the twelve stones that they had taken from the Jordan. And then he told the People of Israel, “In the days to come, when your children ask their fathers, ‘What are these stones doing here?’ tell your children this: ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry ground.’” [Joshua 4:20-22 (MSG)]

Zion 041webIn a television ad for a popular brand of charm bracelet, two couples meet and then go their separate ways. One wife proceeds to tell her spouse all about the other couple: the number and sexes of their children, where they’ve vacationed, and their interests. When her husband asks how she got that much info from a brief greeting, she smugly replies that the bracelet told it all. My granddaughter has one of those bracelets and, when gift-giving occasions occur, I enjoy looking at the charms and trying to decide if there are any that commemorate a special event or accomplishment of that year. I wonder if, many years in the future, she will look at the bracelet and fondly recall her riding lessons, theater classes, trip to China or the grandparents who gave her the charms.

Jacob placed a stone pillar to mark the place where God spoke to him, Joshua erected a monument of stones so the Israelites would remember that the river stopped flowing so the Ark could pass through it, and Samuel used a boulder to mark the spot where God gave victory over the Philistines. I’m not sure placing stones and monuments is that easy or practical today; perhaps all we need are some charms. They wouldn’t be made of silver and semi-precious stones nor would they be worn on our wrists or around our necks. They would be made of memories and kept in our hearts. The charms would remind us of those special moments when God revealed His divine presence in our lives. Yes, I know he’s always been there and always will be, but we’ve all had extraordinary times when we truly felt God’s special touch. The charms would commemorate the times we experienced miracles, the moments we had tangible evidence of God’s help or provision, and the supposedly chance conversations that put us on the right path. The charms would bring to mind the times we received His guidance, wisdom, or strength and those instances we knew without a doubt that God was there with us, holding us in His loving arms. Every time we doubted, every time we felt lost or alone, every time we were afraid or felt unworthy, incapable, abandoned, or lost, we could take out a few charms to remind us of God’s loving provision. Looking at them and remembering those times, we would again have confidence and our faith would be renewed.

What occasions would be commemorated on your bracelet?

Samuel took a single rock and set it upright between Mizpah and Shen. He named it “Ebenezer” (Rock of Help), saying, “This marks the place where God helped us.” [1 Samuel 7:12 (MSG)]