Remembering What God Has Done

He has caused his wonders to be remembered (Psalm 111:4, NIV).

When we are going through hard times, dark times, the Lord tells us to remember — that nothing is impossible with Him and that He is with us. Comfort can come if we recall times in the past when He has come to our aid. God’s miracles and promises bring hope and courage to help us face our tribulations.

Bible monuments

The Old Testament has many examples of God instructing the Israelites to use stones to remember.

In Exodus, God instructed Moses to inscribe the names of the sons of Jacob on two onyx stones, six names on each, to be worn on the shoulders of the high priest above the breastplate. The breastplate itself was set with twelve precious stones, each inscribed with a name of one of the twelve tribes, and it covered the high priest’s chest. All of Israel was represented before the Lord, a reminder of the Lord’s promise to always be with them and care for them (Exodus 28:12; 16-21).

In Joshua, before the Lord stopped the flow of the mighty Jordan River in flood season, He instructed Joshua to choose twelve men, one from each tribe. After the priests carrying the ark of the covenant stepped into the water, the river stopped flowing, and all of Israel safely walked on dry ground into the Promised Land (3:14-17).

Joshua then instructed each of the twelve men to pick up a large stone from where the priests still stood in the riverbed and carry it on their shoulders to where they encamped for the night (4:1-5). There in Gilgal, Joshua formed a monument to remember God’s mighty miracle, and declared, “These stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever” (v. 7).

Samuel also used a stone to help the people remember God’s faithfulness. When the powerful Philistine army was coming to attack the Israelites, fear ran rampant and the people begged Samuel to pray for them. Samuel sacrificed a perfect lamb, and, while he was still praying, the Lord scattered their enemies. The Israelites pursued them and were victorious (1 Samuel 7:7-13), so Samuel set up a large stone and called it Ebenezer, which means “stone of help.” He then declared, “Thus far the Lord has helped us” (v. 12).

The theme of stones continues in the New Testament. Jesus is called the Cornerstone and Peter calls believers “living stones” (1 Peter 2:5, 6). And some day, the Lord tells us, He will give us a white stone with a new name written on it (Revelation 2:17).

Personal applications

One day in my Bible study group I understood the significance of these remembrance stones. A dear friend shared a story about the small basket of rocks she brought into the class. She had used the stones to share her testimony at a family reunion. On each stone, she had used a pen to write an event that celebrated God’s working in her life: being born into a Christian family, the day the Lord came into her heart, her baptism, her marriage, and other occasions.

I decided to create my own basket of remembrance to share my testimony with our grandchildren. As I found rocks to represent special gifts and moments from the Lord, I thought the grandchildren could begin to collect their own stones of remembrance as God did extraordinary things in their life.

My husband liked the idea and offered to make each child a denim drawstring bag with their name embroidered on it. They were all young then, and I decided to meet with them alone or with one other sibling. Putting the rocks I gathered into a large basket, I created an outline of what I would tell them and listed some stones they could start with:

  • Share Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Choose a black-and-white-streaked rock and write Sin on it.
  • Share John 3:16 and choose a red rock. Draw a cross on it to represent Jesus’ redeeming blood that paid our debt.
  • Write Family on a rock and the date they were born. Mention the blessing of a Christian family surrounding them and going before them.
  • Find a rock near their home. Write Home, their state, and the date.
  • If they have prayed to ask Jesus into their heart, write Saved and the date.
  • Write Friends on a rock and talk about those they see as good friends in their life.
  • Talk about the gifts and talents the Lord gives each of us, and see if they have a talent that they recognize. Write it on a rock, and encourage them to look for new talents.
  • Add a heart-shaped rock and write Loved. Remind them that God loves them always, and so does their family.
  • Ask if God has done something else special in their life that they want to remember. I was amazed when one of my grandsons shared that he had seen an angel as a young child.

We talked about adding a stone of remembrance every time God did something special in their life, as when the Lord answers a prayer or does something amazing. So when our grandchildren moved to Hawaii for a season, they all added a Hawaiian rock to their bag. As each got baptized, we added a Baptism rock.


Recently, our oldest grandson, home from college in the summer, surprised me when he pulled out his denim bag and shared a few new rocks he had added. I rejoiced to see how God had used these stones of remembrance to bless him and help him remember God’s faithfulness and love. After his wedding this summer, I gave him an opal heart rock with Marriage written on it and the date.

Stones of remembrance have blessed our family. Maybe some sturdy stones could help you share special moments too.

Defining Success Esther and the Jews

Written By

Yvonne Kays  writes inspirational short story and poetry and co-facilitates Writing from the Heart, a Christian writing support group that meets monthly. Since retiring from substance abuse prevention work in 2010, she has been published in LIVE, God’s Word for Today, The Plus Years, The Christian Journal, Chicken Soup anthologies, and James Stuart Bell’s book, Encountering Jesus. Yvonne is married and lives in Bend, OR.

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