NEW SERIES: GRUMBLING, A BARRIER TO REST
In last week’s post we saw that a grumbling, complaining attitude not only prevented the Israelites from entering the Promised Land, but also creates for us a real barrier to living in rest. The next few posts will explore the antidote to this malaise.
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 the 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 for ever.’
The first step in combatting a complaining habit is to remember. Remember your history with God... Remember His interventions in your life... Remember what Christ has done for you.
A Professor of Theology from my student days always used to say that 'practising Jews "row" into the future,' a colourful way of explaining how they move with hope towards the future, while keeping the past in view.
It should be the same for us as Christians—our appreciation of what Christ has done for us, coupled with our personal stories of His constant faithfulness in our lives, is what enables us to view the future with serenity.
Joshua commanded the Israelite representatives to pick up large stones from the middle of the River Jordan, as they passed through on the dry river bed. They were to use them to build a 'cairn', a lasting reminder of God's faithfulness.
Maybe we can find creative ways of doing the same? Perhaps keep a written, pictorial or photographic record, make a quilt or wooden screen, keep a ‘memory box’, or jar of ‘story cards’, reminders of the specific interventions of the Lord in our lives. I have smooth, decorated pebbles, collected from the beach, with a significant word or phrase written on the other side. As well as jogging my own memory, these pebbles also provide a great fund of stories for our family and friends.
THIS WEEK’S RHYTHM OF GRACE
If you are feeling anxious or unsettled, take some time out to remember...
NEXT WEEK: THE POWER OF THANKSGIVING
Step two in our move to counter the unrest which stems from grumbling...
GET IN TOUCH!
[Photo credits: Pietro de Grandi (rowing boat); Jeremy Thomas (cairn); Simon Schmitt (pebble in hand);
Jess Bailey (crayons) @ Unsplash, with thanks]
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