For a lot of us, we grew up playing with those little toy soldiers with our siblings or the neighborhood kids. This little plastic toy didn’t bring a smile to my face because it took me back to when I was younger playing with my brother. It brought a smile to my face because it reminded me of my son.
At some point during the preceding months, my son had hidden that little toy soldier in the car. I have no idea how long it has been there, but when I finally noticed it, I smiled.
The toy soldier itself is of no value to me. What is valuable are the memories and the good feelings that little piece of plastic reminds me of.
There are things in our lives that help us remember all sorts of things. Some of those things have been put away, but we have them, and they are important to us. They are there in a tub or on a shelf in the basement or the closet. For other things, they are prominent in the house; a photograph, a watch that still sits on their bedside table, or perhaps a clock, and they all remind us of a loved one.
We keep them because they help us remember.
It is human nature to need things that help us remember.
After wandering for forty years in the wilderness, Joshua led the Israelites to the Jordan River. They were to cross over into the promised land, but the river was in flood stage and was impassable. When the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant stepped into the river, the water stopped flowing and was held back. Then the Israelites were able to cross over into the promised land.
Once they had all passed over, the river flooded once again. Joshua collected 12 stones and placed them as a marker to help them remember what happened that day. It was also to help them remember the faithfulness of God. The people were able to look at those stones for generations and remember the faithfulness of God. (Joshua 3:1-4:24)
I like the idea of keeping something to help me remember the faithfulness of God. I have a number of things that I have kept over the years. They help me recall the times in my life when I know God has helped and guided me. Some of those markers are from tough times and others are from times of great joy and celebration.
I need those reminders because it is easy to forget that God is faithful especially when life is good and fun and full of celebration.
I need those reminders because it is easy to forget that God is faithful especially when life is hard and tough.
One of my favorite reminders is a set of prayer beads. They are a daily reminder of God’s faithfulness.
I’d love to hear about the things that help to remind you of God’s faithfulness.
Pastor for Care and Community