In the book of Joshua, after the nation of Israel had crossed the Jordan, where God had stopped up the water flowing from upstream so the people and the ark of the covenant could pass on dry ground, God commanded Joshua to choose 12 men and build an altar with stones taken from the Jordan River.
"So 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 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 forever....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 4:4-7, 24
At the time of the crossing, the Jordan was at flood stage. Israel needed to cross to get to Jericho, and as you can read in chapter 5 and 6, God would still be with them working miraculously to bring down the walls of Jericho, and subsequently save the prostitute Rahab, who would later become great-grandmother of King David, and be counted in the geneology of Jesus.
The Lord knew that Israel needed a physical reminder of the miracles He worked for them. All throughout the Old Testament they were told to build these altars and tell the stories over and over and over(and over) so that they, their children, and their children's children would not forget the greatness of God.
The idea for Memorial Box Monday is not mine. I absolutely love this blog, and it's her idea. Go there and check some of her's out too- they are pretty amazing.
On to our first Memorial Box Monday:
A Story of God's Timing
Jeremiah and I had taken the kids to my dad's house for something that night, I think it was a get-together for dinner with my siblings. It had started snowing by the time we moved into the living room to watch tv and talk. Pretty soon the fields were covered and it didn't look like it was going to let up anytime soon. We debated about whether to stay the night there or just go home, and whether to leave sooner before it got worse, or later thinking it would stop snowing.
Charlotte(she was 16 months at that time) had become tired, and she hadn't had a nap that day, so she was snuggling with me on the chair. Pretty soon I realized how hot she was. I've never felt a child that hot before. We didn't have a thermometer so I just gave her some tylenol and cold water, but she didn't get any cooler so we decided to call it a night and go home.
We drove through the streets and they were totally covered with snow, and it was still snowing. We must have driven about 20 mph all the way. I was tired( I was pregnant with Caden at the time) and I wanted to get Ethan in Charlotte into bed as soon as we got home. I kept looking back to check on Charlotte, and she was still hot and sweaty under her blanket.
We must have hit every red light driving through town, and when we finally got to the highway, and were close to being home, I was glad we could maybe go a little faster.
But as soon as we got under the overpass I could tell that wouldn't be happening. There were no stoplights but there were no cars either, except the ones that had slid off the road. So there had been no plows, no traffic to clear some of the snow away.
We drove on and at about the 6 miles-until-home mark, we spotted a truck that had run off the road onto the opposite side and plowed through a barbed-wire fence. Jeremiah thought he knew the person in the truck, so we found a place to turn around, we parked in someone's driveway, and he walked a couple of hundred feet to get to the truck. It seemed to take about 10 minutes to me, and when he came back he said he didn't know them after all, but it was a woman and she was alone, but she had called her husband to come help her. So we turned around in the person's yard or driveway- it was hard to tell at that point- and had to wait for a line of cars going by. We hadn't seen any others actually driving yet, but here were like 4 in a row. We were waiting our turn when one of the cars got stuck right where they were sitting. They couldn't move and there was a big dump truck or trash truck coming, and these guys were in the middle of the road. So another car stopped and they pushed the car off( literally just slid it) off the road into the embankment just in time. Finally we could go and drove again, like 20 mph all the way home.
When we got there, we carried the kids in and we put Ethan straight to bed because he was asleep anyway. Charlotte was still awake so I gave her some more tylenol and laid her on the couch and started to change her into her jammies. And then it happened.
At first I thought she was playing around- just making a silly face like she does. But when she didn't stop it, I knew something was wrong. Her eyes were rolled almost up behind her eyelids and she was still laying on her back but she was kind of hunched over, like she had started to roll into a ball but stopped, so she was just hunched over. I picked her up and Jeremiah was sitting on the other couch and I said, "What's wrong with her?!" I think he knew that she was having a seizure, but I had never seen one before. We laid her on the couch again and She was stiff, just clenched up and her breathing was really like shallow and slow. Her eyes closed and she started spasming, or I guess seizuring, not violently, but just enough you could tell she was moving. We called 911 and the ambulance came a few minutes later and by that time she had come out of it and was looking around but she was kind of in a daze and she cried a little but not much. We got her buckled into her seat and loaded on the gurney and we went to the hospital. She didn't cry the whole rest of the night. We went first to a local hospital, and then to children's mercy since they said they weren't sure she had had a fever, since it was undocumented, and they wanted to monitor her. We were able to go home the next day and she has been fine ever since. They ended up calling it a Febrile Seizure. I have been told since then that it is common in small children with sudden high temperatures.
Even now, writing this, I wonder at all the what ifs? I suppose you could say, well it didn't happen that way so you shouldn't even worry about it, but more than worry, I am amazed at a few things:
If we had been home in the first place, we would have just put her to bed when she started feeling yukky.
It took, by my estimation, over an hour to get home that night, a drive that usually takes about 20 minutes, and all the way home I was a little upset the drive was taking so long.
If Jeremiah had not thought he knew the driver of the truck we would have kept on going, not stopped for 10 minutes, then be stuck in a line of traffic.
I sometimes let the kids sleep in their clothes, but I knew that night, Charlotte would be more comfortable in her pjs, so I wanted to change her before I put her to bed.
I could have just put her in bed as soon as we got home, like Ethan. We could have all been sleeping when she had her seizure, and I probably would never have woken up since she didn't really cry.
You could say it was all a coincidence, that everything that kept us from getting home and putting her to bed was just pure happenstance, but I don't believe that for one second.
"He is before all things and in him all things hold together." Col 1:17
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,"declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9
How Great is our God?
He sent the snow that night,
which caused us to be out late, which allowed us to be with Charlotte while she had her seizure,
and which had disappeared by the next morning.
So, once we actually get a Memorial Box, I will put Charlotte's hospital bracelet from that night in it as a reminder that God's ways are higher than our ways.