Can You Do This?

Ed Miskovic,  Volunteer Writer, Huntley | April 11, 2024

Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder … to serve as a sign among you … These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.. 
Joshua 4:5b-6

When I was nine, my thirteen-year-old brother asked, “Can you do this?” as he gathered a couple of stones from the shore. With a side-arm fling, he pitched a smooth, thin oval stone. It skipped across the pond. Each bounce amazed me. Circles, ripples, circles, ripples until the last one weakened when the stone disappeared. “Can I do that?” I doubted, but I tried. Kerplunk. With a splash, my rock sank to the muddy bottom.

The bottom of the Jordan River had heavier stones, and they could be seen only when the Lord cut off the river flow. That miraculous holding back of the river made it possible for the priests to carry the ark of the covenant across the Jordan. When the first step of its bearers touched the river edge, the waters stopped flowing. Thousands crossed the river on foot as if on dry land. For as long as the ark remained in the river, the flow would be cut off. Twelve men carried stones from the middle of the river. When it was all over, the stones were set out as a memorial to remind themselves and their descendants of the Lord’s power to deliver on his promises (Joshua 3 and 4).

When the Israelites faced doubts, the stones reminded them of God’s faithfulness at the Jordan. This memory would ease their doubts when they faced future uncertainties, such as following the ark around the walls of the city of Jericho. He was faithful then, too.

At home, my wife has a stone that is perfect for skipping across a pond. But it has part of a scripture verse on one side, “Be still,” and on the flip side, “know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). And so I clasp it and wonder in God’s faithfulness. 

This stone is a memorial stone like the ones at the River Jordan. It puts me at ease. I know that God is faithful to his promises, and this truth puts my doubts aside and puts me at ease. What “stones” or Bible verses do you use to remind you to trust God?

Next Steps

Write out a Bible verse (Psalm 36:5, Psalm 34:6, Philippians 4:19) or draw a related image that eases your doubts on something you will see or touch every day (a decorative stone, paver, plate, a refrigerator magnet, or a book mark).