Gathering Stones

Family Day 1

He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.” Joshua 4:21-24

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” -Dr Seuss


  • Remember to call your Prayer Partner for a 10-minute prayer call!
  • Prepare to meet with your Heavenly Father today. Take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy this intimate time with Him.
  • Read chapters 3 and 4 in the book of Joshua. As you read these scriptures, think back on what the Lord has brought you and your family through. Think of the desert times and the miracles, the hardships, and the joys. Thank Him for being there through ALL times!

Gathering Stones

Like most families, ours has had its share of difficult times. We have struggled deeply in our marriage, fought through our children’s food allergies, and dealt with financial hardships. God turned our world upside down when He moved us to Colorado – away from our family, friends, and everything we knew, but I knew in my heart He was leading us away from the literal and figurative desert of our lives.

Several days before we moved, I received Joshua 3:2-4.

“When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. Then you will know which way to go since you have never been this way before.”

Just as God instructed the Israelites, He was telling my family to simply leave our position and follow Him. We were about to go on the greatest and most stretching journey of our lives thus far.

As the Israelites crossed over the Jordan with a promise in their hearts, the Lord instructed them to gather twelve stones.

“The stones will serve as a reminder to you. In days to come, your children will ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Tell them that the Lord cut off the flow of water in the Jordan River. Tell them its water stopped flowing when the Ark of the covenant of the Lord went across. The stones will always remind the Israelites of what happened there” (Joshua 4:6-7).

As we know from reading the Old Testament, it was just the beginning of their journey into the Promised Land. God brought His people to this beautiful land flowing with milk and honey, but it would come with its difficulties. They would need these stones in times of trouble or doubt to remember how He cared for them and to embrace the promise that He will continue to care for them. Their children would need a visual reminder of what the Lord had done and would continue to do.

Our families also need visual reminders of the Lord’s goodness and sovereignty.

Some of our “stones” today come in the form of photographs and videos. One of our favorite times together as a family is to walk down memory lane. We love rummaging through our box full of family photos and watching slideshows on the computer. We treasure watching home videos from when our children were so little. We tell stories and remember; we remember what the Lord has done!

It’s so precious to watch their little faces light up as they see themselves from a time passed. After we spend time looking back as a family, I have notice changes in my children. It brings joy, security, and a sense of identity. They see the love and happiness that is in our family, and they realize how much fun we have together! It roots them into our family and their heavenly Father.

Unfortunately, sometimes Satan is in the hindsight. He tells me I was not a good mom. He tells me those years were filled with mostly bad times. That is not true! God knows we need reminders! He can show us a different perspective through our pictures and videos. I see myself being a sweet mom who adored my children and had fun with them. Looking back in time also gives us as parents’ empathy and love for our children. It shows us all of the grace we have been given to endure. It reminds us how fast time flies and demonstrates how the Lord has been with us every step of the way!

Take time to look back with your children, so they see all God has done, and look forward to all He is doing. They will see his unending faithfulness and will anticipate the good things to come!

Question to Ponder

Has Satan lied to you about your past with your children or husband? Ask God to remind you of the truth. Write down Scripture that He brings to your mind.

Faith-Filled idea

Have a movie night starring your family!

  • Make popcorn or a favorite dessert.
  • Together read the story of the Israelites from Joshua 3. Talk about your journey as a family. Discuss the ups and downs and all the amazing things God has done.
  • If you have videos, watch them together or look through scrapbooks and pictures. Enjoy making more memories together!


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Tara Fox
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7 Comments on “Gathering Stones”

  1. I love looking at old photos, but I never thought about it like this. Now I’m eager to get started on some more family albums we can enjoy.

  2. I love the NASB’s translation of Joshua 3:8: “You shall, moreover, command the priests who are carrying the ark of the covenant, saying, ‘When you come to the edge of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.’”

    Take time to STAND STILL!

  3. Thanks so much for this wonderfully encouraging Bible study Tara! It’s so important to remember the goodness of God in our lives! ❤️?

  4. Tara, this study is so great! I have to tell you that I was called to read the beginning chapters of Joshua last week!! When I read this I just couldn’t believe it! These are such powerful verses you spotlight ans I love to see how God has ministered to you and your family and continues to do so! I love you!

  5. Tara this really ministered to my heart. Our family has been through many hard times too…and it’s so beautiful to look back and remember how God’s faithfulness has been with us through it all. Thanks for your encouragement this morning!

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