Why do we remember the bad stuff so easily? Why do we hold on so tightly to the bad memories? We can easily name all the bad things that have happened to us. I have been asking these questions for some time now… especially in regards to God’s faithfulness and trustworthiness. It is becoming a lost art to remember the good stuff, to focus on them, to celebrate them.
The economy is hanging on a balance; everyone is watching and waiting. Will it crash and when? All around, people are losing their jobs, retrenchments are sky-high and nervousness is the order of the day.
When we don’t know a way out, when we don’t know the answers, the Holy Bible is the best place to go. David said it best when he wrote, ‘Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’ I recently heard that if nothing resonates with you while reading the Bible, that you must keep on reading until something leaps at you from the page. That’s when you know you have received a Rhema word – a word for the here and now you are in.
I remember the story of the stones… In biblical times, stones played a critical role when it came to remembering God’s faithfulness. Joshua instructed the Israelites to gather stones to help them remember the Lord’s goodness. Joshua already knew by then that people tend to forget the good stuff easily… All the times God came through for them, the miraculous ways he had provided. The stones would become a memorial place, a visual reminder to thank the Lord for his never-ending goodness.
I remember the stones in my own life… My family went through a financially tough time a few years ago in Worcester. We moved there after receiving a clear word from the Lord that my father was to start a church there for the second time.
Upon arriving, nothing seemed to go according to plan. People started disappearing, dropping my father on certain financial promises they had made. At first, the church grew, and then suddenly… everyone was leaving. We barely had enough food on the table; our fridge was empty and the cupboards bare. Eventually, we couldn’t afford rent anymore. We sold my mom’s inherited jewelry, our tennis table, even my father’s prized – also inherited – hunting guns. When that wasn’t enough sacrifice anymore, we sold my car. It carried us financially for three months at least.
During this time, we came to the revelation that my earthly father was not really our provider. We have an everlasting, heavenly Father who will always provide. In the most random and strangest moments, people would drop off food at our house. Thankfulness and gratefulness became the order of the day.
In the midst of it all, a gang broke into our house the one night we went to Spur – a dinner that was sponsored generously by a businessman. My laptop was stolen as well as my hearing aids’ battery charger. It took me months of doing motivational talks to save up money to buy a new laptop, but I learned the value of saving. As for my battery charger, I was in a crisis as I need to charge my hearing aids every second day. A stranger on Facebook donated one to me and posted it within a day.
The more I start to look at the stones in my life, the more stones pop up. Talking about it refreshes my memory. Through remembering them, I am reminded of even more incidents such as these. Writing them down stirs my faith. When we focus on all the times God came through for us, it becomes uncountable.
In this time where bad news is the order of the day, it has become an art to celebrate the small moments of breakthrough and blessings. I think it’s time we start counting the blessings – the stones in our lives. Let’s count them, one by one. We will be surprised to see what God has done.
Jenn Johnson wrote this heartfelt song after she adopted/added two more children to their family of five.
This song says, ‘Your goodness is running after me’ – a beautiful way of how God is always pursuing us.