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11th August: Stones of Encouragement

These stones will remind the people of what the Lord has done. Joshua 4:6 (GNB)

For the first time for years I am facing the future. At school, it was relatively easy to decide to become a doctor. And once the decision was taken, I felt I had some influence over achieving it; if I worked hard enough, I should be successful. Since then I have been occupied with the mechanics of qualifying. Suddenly at the end of my pre-registration year, I am faced with deciding how best to use my skills, and I am surrounded by those whose priorities are influenced by their conviction that this life is all there is.

It is fine to look back -- remembering the occasions before when I didn't know where to turn, or when my own well-laid plans went disastrously awry. At each crisis, God stepped in, teaching me to look to him for direction and to wait for his answer, reminding me that I am his servant now. Frequently he showed me that his thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are his ways our ways. And, in directing me to something quite beyond my own expectations, he showed me that my God was too small.

These stones of remembrance endure; they not only encourage at the time, but also are intended for reminders to us and others in the future. The psalmist too knew the value of remembering God's past dealings with his people:

Give thanks to the Lord, proclaim his greatness;
Tell the nations what he has done.
Sing praise to the Lord;
Tell of the wonderful things he has done.
Be glad that we belong to him;
Let all who worship him rejoice,
Go to the Lord for help, and worship him continually.
You descendants of Abraham, his servant,
You descendants of Jacob, the man he chose,
Remember the miracles that God performed
And the judgments that he gave (Ps 105:1-6 GNB).

Further reading: Jos 4:19-24.


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