“The Lord’s kindness never fails! If he had not been merciful, we would have been destroyed. The Lord can always be trusted to show mercy each morning” – Lamentations 3:22-23
At the end of last year, when everyone was talking about the start of a new decade and sharing their “decade in review” posts, at first I rolled my eyes. I didn’t understand why people kept talking about the new decade and initially didn’t think it was a big deal. But at some point, someone I follow on Instagram posted a story template for a decade recap and it got me thinking. Before I knew it, I was running out of room for things to type for each year.
In the everyday moments, we don’t always have the eyes to see what God is doing when He is doing it. Day to day, month to month, or even year to year. Sometimes we need the significance of a new decade to help us see where the Lord has been and to count the fruit.
When I look at the events highlighted under those years, sure, some of them are minor like going to a lot of concerts. But other years? The highlights listed under these headings are just a glimpse of where the Lord was in the past ten years. Which calls to mind the story of the Israelites as they crossed the Jordan River into the land promised to them many years prior while enslaved in Egypt.
The Israelites had been wandering in the wilderness for years and when they reached the river, the Lord made a way for them to enter the Promised Land by rolling back the waters much like he did when they first left Egypt. I can only imagine what these people were thinking and feeling at this point after so many years spent trying to get to where they currently were.
After crossing, Joshua sent one representative from each of the 12 tribes back to the riverbed to pick up a large rock and with them, they established a memorial. And why? So that years from that point, when their children asked them why these large stones were gathered there the Israelites could tell them of the ways the Lord protected them, provided for them, and led them to their home. The way He fulfilled His promises to them.
“Joshua chose twelve men; he called them together, 5 and told them: Go to the middle of the riverbed where the sacred chest is, and pick up a large rock. Carry it on your shoulder to our camp. There are twelve of you, so there will be one rock for each tribe. Someday your children will ask, “Why are these rocks here?” Then you can tell them how the water stopped flowing when the chest was being carried across the river. These rocks will always remind our people of what happened here today.” – Joshua 4:4-7, CEV
Honestly, the wording of this passage gets me a little misty and I often get a lump in my throat when reading it.
“Someday your children will ask…then you can tell them….”
Someday my children will ask me to tell them things about my childhood. About my experiences as a young adult and my walk with God. And I will get to tell them all of the miraculous things He has done. No, He never had to hold a rushing river for me to cross but He did have to hold me through pain. Through rejection and tragedy and hardships.
I can tell them of how He used the hardest two years of my life to draw me into Himself and help me to trust Him fully and completely. I can tell them of how He equipped me to be able to stand face to face with death and loss and still be able to experience joy. To still feel hope in the darkest of nights. I can tell them of how the Gospel is true and it is everlasting and stands the test of time.
See, no, I don’t have 12 giant stones laying around as a memorial but the stones I do have are seen in the ways God has molded and shaped my heart through the hardest and most fruitful experiences. And when I’m asked about them and how I got to this place? I know what to tell them and it all comes down to this; His love endures.
It endures through fear. Through grief and tragedy and anxiety. It endures for years on end and never fails or ceases. And sometimes it’s only when we stop and reflect – much like we do at the start of a new year/decade – that we realize exactly where His love has endured and prevailed the most.