Today while hiking I overheard a conversation taking place in front of me that was difficult to miss. It was a teenager arguing with her mother who was encouraging her to try healthy new experiences; to realize there was so much more to life. The teen angrily responded, “Trying new things was nothing more than having an experience.” Everything in me wanted to join into their conversation! I wanted to tell that young girl that her world was small and her potential was so much bigger than she could see. I wanted to explain to her that she was blessed to have a mother that loved her enough to challenge her, to see her possibilities. But as a mother who treasures the times I get for “real” conversations with my children, I restrained. As I passed the mother/daughter team I began to think how important experiences are in our lives.
Learn from them
They change us
They deepen us
They mold us
They teach us
In Joshua chapter 4, the nation of Israel is instructed to cross the Jordan River and one man from each tribe was to carry a stone across the river leaving an altar of testimony on the other side. Joshua 3:14-17 tells how God stopped the flow of the river allowing the nation to cross on dry ground.
I thought of how many “memorial stones” line the path of my life. There have been so many experiences that testify of God’s provision of grace in my life that I am encouraged from during the difficult times as well as being able to encourage others with.
Whether the experiences in my life have been good or bad, they were opportunities to know God better. We often allow fear to win over faith. Yet even the unfortunate experiences, the ones that don’t go right and even those that end up being disappointing failures, heartbreaks, perhaps even damaging – do not have to define us rather they deepen us; taking us to a place where God’s glory and grace reveals His greatness.
Have you been running from the opportunities God is placing in your path? Perhaps this year God is calling you to go on a mission trip, begin serving in a ministry, sharing your faith with a friend or coworker, or even stepping out into a new career. Wherever you find yourself remember God is the one who parts the river and leads you to the other shore. Carry your stone of testimony as you simply follow Jesus.
From my heart to yours,