Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday's Woe - Collecting Stones When God Makes-a-Way

Collecting Stones When God Makes-a-Way

Wednesday's Woe

In the midst of your grief, do you ever wonder if you will ever make your way through this barren desert of life-without-your-child? Tommy and I were not sure how God could make a way for us this weekend when we were both caught up in the throes of the Post-traumatic stress syndrome of the complicated grief of a grieving parent...we had reached the end of our strength, of our stability, or our saneness essentially.

We had no idea how God would make a way, but make a way He did even

in the depths of our despair,

in the depths of our panic,

in the depths of our aloneness.

(See yesterday's Tuesday's Trust for the full story.)


I wanted to share the words of Kim Arnold who is going through her own desert as her precious daughter is suffering the aftereffects of a major AVM rupture in her cerebellum a year and a half ago. She is from my hometown of Athens, Georgia, but is now with her daughter Katherine in California as Katherine makes the tedious journey toward recovery, one difficult step at a time. Her words carved out in the midst of their suffering can minister to us in the midst of ours as well:

The concept of collecting stones of remembrance is scattered throughout the Old Testament. In each case, they are to be symbolic reminders that God has intervened in the world in some definitive way…whether it’s altering the natural order of things, such as parting raging waters; giving supernatural help in achieving victory over enemies; or by manifesting an appearance of some kind, such as in the making of a covenant.

In each case, His message is:

Remember this. Carry it with you in your heart. Don’t forget it the next time adversity comes, and you can’t see me or hear my voice. I am with you even then. Remember how I have rescued you in the past. Remember how I have touched you. Remember how I have made a way, when none existed. Hold fast to these memories, for I am the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I will never, never, never leave you or forsake you. Even when the great darkness obscures my face, I am with you still. I will come to you again. And I will act. I will fight against those who fight against you. The victory is already mine.

In this journey of life, we will fight one battle after the next, face one hardship after another. We will be afraid, we will stumble, we will want to turn back. Sometimes we may want to give up, maybe even lie down under a tree and pray for death, as the prophet Elijah did. But God has said that He will help us, rescue us, defend us, and comfort us every time we earnestly turn to him in our fear and despair. We are to carry reminders of how He has in the past.

Carrying those stones uphill will make us stronger.

And the long, hard road leads straight to Bliss.

That is home.





supreme happiness; utter joy or contentment: wedded bliss.


Theology. the joy of heaven.


heaven; paradise: the road to eternal bliss.


Archaic. a cause of great joy or happiness.


For it is God’s will that we hold ourselves in His Comfort with all our might, for bliss is everlasting, while pain is passing and shall be reduced to nothingness for those who shall be saved.

(From The Revelation of Divine Love by Dame Julian of Norwich (14th cent.), translated by M.L. del Mastro)

{Thank you to Kim Arnold for her wonderful words of wisdom.}


After God had parted the waters of the Jordan so that His own children and His ark of the covenant could walk through the flooded waters, He wanted Joshua to set up a memorial to God to serve as

a reminder to the people of God making a way before them when they thought there was no way...

Joshua 4:1-9 NIV

When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, "Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan from right where the priests stood and to carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight."

So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, "Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan.

Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, 'What do these stones mean?' tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever."

So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the Lord had told Joshua; and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down. Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day.


What will our memorial stones before the Lord be?

Has He carved a way when there was-no-way for you?

May we always remember to...remember...

picture and excerpt of blog post from

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