A Stone. Smoothed by Years of Flowing River

The smooth stone mimicked the thoughts that rolled repeatedly through my mind.

I sat on the knoll just above the creek. The grass had been warmed by the sun, encouraging its slender blades to thrust themselves into the mountain’s unexpected early spring. I held a smooth stone — a river rock — rubbing and rolling it over and over in my fingertips. The stone mimicked the thoughts that rolled repeatedly through my mind.

Just that morning I had read a remarkable passage from Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved:

Through the barren wasteland, He has filled my cup from living streams. He has sustained, He has delivered, He has revealed Himself in the cloud, in the fire, and in the Shekinah Glory. Lo, as if this had not been enough, He brought me to the banks of Jordan. There He did precede me: For as the priests went first, bearing the ark, so He did pass ahead in full possession of all His promises, and thus He opened my way and brought me into the land that flows with milk and honey.

Through the barren wasteland, He has filled my cup from living streams …

A stone smoothed by flowing river reminds me of God's faithfulness.
A stone smoothed by flowing river reminds me of God’s faithfulness.

Sustained. Delivered. He remained faithful.


I rubbed my thumb across the silky feel of the stone, smoothed by years of flowing river, and I remembered what the Lord has brought me through, and how He continues to lift my head to gaze upon His loveliness whenever I begin to stumble. I remembered His comfort. His provision. His steady hand as He carries me through the storm.

It’s important to remember, isn’t it?

To remember the faithfulness of the Lord.

The Lord led the Israaelites through the wilderness to the edge of the Jordan River. Crossing this river would put them in Canaan — their Promised Land. As commanded by the Lord, the priests who carried the ark of the covenant, dipped their feet into the Jordan. The waters coming from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap, so that the people could cross over on dry land.

God had gone before them making the impossible, possible.

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“Then the Lord spoke to Joshua, instructing him to take one man from each of the twelve tribes of Israel. Joshua called the men whom he appointed and said to them, ‘Cross over before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each one of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel'” (Joshua 4:5)

I can imagine the men bending, searching for a perfect stone from the riverbed on which they stood. As they held it, was it still wet from the river which now stood as a wall of water? Did they rub it with their thumbs, considering the power of Almighty God, pondering the miracle in which they stood?

The priests stacked 12 stones beside the Jordan River to remember God's faithfulness.
The priests stacked 12 stones beside the Jordan River to remember God’s faithfulness.

“And those twelve stones which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up in Gilgal. Then he spoke to the children of Israel, saying: ‘When your children ask their fathers in time to come saying,”What are these stones?” ‘then you shall let your children know, saying, “Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land”; ‘for the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over, that all the people of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear [reverence] the Lord your God forever'” (Joshua 4:20-24).

God has carried me through my wilderness places and now, in many ways, I stand on the edge of my Jordan — of my impossible. In my spirit I can see Him letting me down from His shoulders to stand in the rocky soil where the river laps. He’s not saying anything aloud, but His eyes — His eyes gaze into mine, searching, questioning, asking me if I will trust Him … trust Him here on the river’s edge.

I rolled the stone in my fingers some more. Thinking. Remembering.

In my minds’ eye the Lord stepped into the water and it immediately stood still upstream and formed a wall. He looked back at me, my toes gripping the river’s edge, and raised His brows as if to say, “Are you coming? I’m making the impossible, possible.”

The river rock is caressed by my trembling hand. I look at it — almost through it — and remember God’s faithfulness.

With strong voice I spoke, “I’m coming, Lord. I’m coming.”

The bluebird in the apple tree sang hallelujah.

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This message first appeared on my blog at NanJones.com on February 22, 2017 (under a different title). I hesitated to use it here, but it is SO perfect for this month’s theme: “Blowing in the Wind — When we lose site of our perspective.” You see, I’ve been “blowing in the wind” for several months now due to a family crisis that keeps me laden down with heartache and distracted by restless, painful thoughts.

I know I’m not alone. Many of you are burdened beyond capacity also. Isn’t it wonderful that Jesus, our Redeemer and Friend, is waiting for us to depend on Him rather than ourselves, not only in our words, but in our actions?

There’s a difference.

It’s my prayer that this will encourage you greatly to step out and follow Him even when it seems impossible.

Nan Jones

Nan Jones is an author/speaker who uses the words of her heart to assist fellow Christians in discovering the Presence of God in their darkest hour. She has been published in several anthologies as well as the online inspirational sites Christian Devotions, and Inspire a Fire where she is a monthly contributor. She is also a monthly contributor to PW Connections, a blog and forum to encourage pastors' wives. Nan has had the honor of being featured as a guest blogger on several sites. She is thrilled to announce her debut book, The Perils of a Pastor's Wife released June 30, 2015 by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. This memoir was a 2016 Selah finalist. When Nan isn't writing, she enjoys leading prayer retreats, bible studies or sharing God’s love as keynote speaker for special events. She is becoming known by her brand: "Even so, I walk in the Presence of the Lord" as she teaches her audience to go beyond the veil to find God's Presence. You may visit Nan at her website: www.NanJones.com. Nan has also created a facebook community page, Seeing Beyond The Veil, to provide a place for folks to go and get away from the chaos for a few moments and focus on Jesus through scripture, worship, testimony, and inspirational quotes. For personal communication you may email Nan at nan@nanjones.com The Perils of a Pastor's Wife is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and LPC Bookstore

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