Ann Farabee: What do these stones mean?

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 26, 2015

What do these stones mean? Glad you asked. Keep reading:

• Get Up And Go.

Joshua rose early. He and his people were headed to the Promised Land.

• Prepare Yourself.

Joshua told his people to prepare themselves, because the Lord was going to do wonders among them.

• God Is With You.

They took the Ark of the Covenant, symbolizing God’s Presence and Power. It included: 10 Commandments- God’s Law, Manna- God’s Provision, and Aaron’s Rod- God’s Authority.

• Listen.

The people walked. Right at the brink of the Jordan River, Joshua told them to stand still, in order to hear the Word of the Lord. They stood still. They listened. They heard.

• Step Into The Waters.

As soon as the soles of the feet of the priests bearing the Ark of the Covenant took the first step into the flood-like waters, the waters receded. The people passed over on dry ground.

• Give God Praise.

After crossing over, God directed one man from each of the 12 tribes to take a stone out of the deepest part of the Jordan and build a monument.

Then, in times to come, when the children asked their fathers, “What do these stones mean?” they could tell them about the great work that God had done.

While reading this story from Joshua 3 and 4, I wondered what those men must have been thinking as they carried the stones and placed them as a memorial. The stones were probably heavy, since they were told to carry them on their shoulders. One man at a time — tearfully laying down his stone, and then lifting his hands toward heaven to express thankfulness and praise for blessings and answered prayers in his life and in the life of his family.

Can you envision it? I can grasp some of the passion and emotion I might feel if it were me placing my stones in the same manner — carrying the stone that may at one time have represented a heavy burden — one stone at a time, on my shoulder, laying it down, then lifting my arms and voice in praise to my God for great miracles, victories, and answered prayers. Maybe it would sound something like this:

• Your LOVE. Thank You, my God, for loving me when I didn’t even love myself.

• Your FAITHFULNESS. Oh, God, You have been there for me in the darkest of nights.

• Your HEALING. The doctors said I wouldn’t make it, but You, my Great Physician, healed me.

• Your PROMISES. I am still grieving, Lord, but I cling to Your promise that I’ll see him in heaven.

• Your SACRIFICE. You looked ahead in time and died on the cross for me — just for me.

• Your SALVATION. Oh, God, I am so unworthy. Thank You for saving me that night as I prayed.

• Your MIRACLES. There seemed to be no hope in the courtroom that day, but You sent victory.

• Your GRACE. Oh, God, thank you for showing me favor when I deserved the opposite.

• Your PRESENCE. I was depressed and felt alone, but The Holy Spirit spoke peace to me.

• Your MERCY. Thank you, Lord, that Your mercy has followed me all the days of my life.

• Your PROVISION. I had no money to buy Christmas gifts for my children, but You provided.

• Your FORGIVENESS. I was so ashamed of my sin, but You forgave me and sent restoration.

What do your stones mean? Yes, they will ask you. Tell them. They need to know.

Ann Farabee has taught in Kannapolis City Schools and Mooresville Schools. Contact her at

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