“…So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the Lord had told Joshua; and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down. Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day.” Joshua 4:8-9
I recently read with great interest an article about Mount Everest. In this fascinating
article, the writer described how Mount Everest is a grave to over 200 climbers who didn’t make it down from the mountain. Some froze to death, others fell, while still others simply ran out of oxygen. The thing about these large mountainous grave sites – once on the mountain it is near impossible to recover the bodies, and so to this day, these bodies remain frozen in time and visible to those who climb. These fallen climbers not only commemorate the dangers of climbing this daunting mountain, but they now also serve as landmarks to other climbers. Out of these tragic deaths has come life and in some way, these once living landmarks are making the climb easier for others to carefully mark out their steps as the ascend the mountain.
This brought to mind the story of Joshua in the bible. (Read Joshua 4:8-9) He had become the new leader of the people of Israel. He had replaced Moses and was attempting to finally see the promised land. As they prepare to cross the Jordan and into this new land, Joshua instructs the twelve tribes to place a stone into the river. Imagine these large rocks (12 in all) being placed one on top of another. This was to be a landmark. A reminder of God’s promise-fulfilled . This was to help generations after this one to see and to remember God’s faithfulness to those who love and serve Him. This would be a memorial place that grandparents could point to and tell their grandchildren about how God had provided when their generation was homeless and wandering.
There are many other places in scripture where people have left their landmarks so that others who came after them would know of this great God. Some landmarks commemorated great grief and loss, while others commemorated great victory and joy. All of these served to provide a means of safer passage to the next generation. This makes me wonder what sort of landmarks we are constructing in our own lives. How are we paving the way for our children and our grandchildren? What sort of legacy are we leaving behind for others to follow? Will they commemorate an honorable holy disciple of Christ through the testimony of our lives, or will they use our story us as a warning? I pray that we desire to pave the way through a life of godly living and in so doing, leave legacy that others wish to follow as they ascend this path of holiness.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to mark out my days with care and prayer. Light this path before me. May my testimony be more than words, but fully realized in my love for you and those around me. Lead me today on this path of righteousness. -Amen.
*Notes Source: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/there-are-over-200-bodies-on-mount-everest-and-theyre-used-as-landmarks-146904416/*