I once worked at a Christian school where all the staff were required to attend training. There was a small group so we carpooled and while driving home the school administrator asked me, “Have you ever been sprayed by a skunk?”
I had put on deodorant that morning and was thinking, ‘What an odd question to ask.’ But he was my boss, so I cautiously answered, curious about why he asked me that. “It seems you have experienced a lot of things in your life and you always have a story to tell, so I just wondered.”
The administrator’s strange inquiry and his explanation echoed in my mind for several days. I began to reflect and asked myself, “Why do I have stories and why do I share them?” At the core of my pondering, I realized I need to proclaim God’s character and remember what God has done in my life. By sharing my stories, I remember and create a memorial to pass on.
Ancient Jews used story retelling to teach their descendants. A student of scriptures soon discovers Jews have various memorials, feasts, ceremonies, and festivals to commemorate what God has done. Often the celebrations incorporate a form of storytelling. The occasions are rooted in tradition and symbolism to remember. We find the initiation of one such ceremony in Exodus as the Israelites are freed from slavery in Egypt.
“When you enter the land that the Lord will give you as he promised, you are to observe this ceremony. When your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ you are to reply, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord…’” (Exodus 12:25-27, CSB).
Later, as Joshua leads the Israelites across the Jordan river, we observe the establishment of a physical memorial—stones.
“Choose twelve men from the people, one man for each tribe, and command them: Take twelve stones from this place in the middle of the Jordan where the priests are standing, carry them with you, and set them down at the place where you spend the night… Each of you lift a stone onto his shoulder, one for each of the Israelite tribes, so that this will be a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ you should tell them…” (Joshua 4:2-7, CSB).
God considers it crucial to remember. He instructed the Israelites in different ways to recall what He had done for them. They were to observe celebrations, feast days, and build stone monuments, all to remember and pass on, to their children and grandchildren, the evidence of God’s faithfulness.
Dear reader, do you have traditions or ways in which you acknowledge what the Lord has done in your life? How do you share it with your descendants? Do your children know of your spiritual battles and victories?
Oh, and was I sprayed by a skunk? Return next week for my answer in part two.
Holy Father, thank You for working in my life. Cause me to recall all that You have done so that I praise Your wondrous name. You have rescued me from destruction. You have given me new life.
You are my Abba Father and have proven Your love to me. Thank You for the intense desire to memorialize events and circumstances when You touched me with Your righteous hand. Lord, let my descendants see Your works. Generate in each one hearts filled with gratitude and a means to remember what You have done. You are worthy of our eternal praise!
I am a follower of Jesus Christ, grandmother, great-grandmother, foster care parent, and trauma survivor. I enjoy sipping tea, writing devotionals, prayers, short stories, and unburdening my heart to the Lord. Check the About page if you want to read more of my story.
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