I completed the reading of the five books of the Pentateuch this week and have arrived at the Book of Joshua. I find this a rich book from the Scriptures. Just two days of reading has given me much to share.
When I changed career directions over 13 years ago, leaving the general romance mass market and starting over again with Christian women’s fiction and inspirational romance, I had to have a total shift in my thinking. Some of that shifting was obvious; after all, the stories needed to be faith-focused. But some ways weren’t obvious right away. For instance, I was to learn that editing was different from what I was used to.
But most of all, I needed God to change my thinking about what “success” meant in this new career path. I knew it couldn’t be measured by sales and best-seller lists alone. It had to be something more. He used the following to give me His answer:
This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. (Joshua 1:8, NAS)
What He showed me was that my success is measured by His word in my heart. It can’t be found on the best-seller lists or in the awards on my credenza. When He is first in my life and I live for Him, that is success.
Another time, when I was seeking an answer about what I should do in a certain situation, He took me to Joshua 3:4b:
… that you may know the way by which you shall go, for you have not passed this way before. (NAS, emphasis mine)
Now when I find myself in or about to pass through unfamiliar territory, I try to remember that even though I may not have passed this way before, God has. In fact, He is there, in the midst of that unfamiliar territory, waiting for me, with plans to take me through it.
But it was on Joshua 4 that I lingered the most this morning.
In this chapter, Joshua commands twelve men, one from each tribe of Israel, to “Take up for yourselves twelve stones from here out of the middle of the Jordan” (4:3), Joshua then set up those twelve stones at Gilgal as a memorial, a remembrance of the day God dried up the waters of the Jordan so that Israel could cross on dry land.
Those men took the stones from the middle of the river. The middle of the river is usually the deepest part of a river. And the truth is, we all bring our stones of remembrance from the deepest waters of our lives. Those memorials that I set up by writing in my journals or by writing in my books or by sharing at a women’s retreat come from deep and oftentimes painful or scary waters. When others see those memorials and ask, “What are these stones?” (4:21), I can share with them the greatness of God, the places He brought me through, the waters He stopped so I could pass by on dry land. Those stones of remembrance were not easy to obtain, but they mean a great deal to me.
I want to remember each of those stones I have brought out of deep waters so that “all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty,” and so that I may fear the Lord my God forever (4:24).
What about you?