Module 9 Devotionals
The basket of stones was a tangible reminder that Jesse hadn’t died in vain. My friend, Judy Squier, gave it to me during one of Focus on the Family’s pregnancy center conferences in 1996. She had one large stone with the name “Jesus” written on it. There was a smaller stone marked, “Judy.”
She called this gift my “Joshua Basket.” Her reference was to the day Joshua was directed by God to have the high priests step into the flooded river Jordan with the Ark of the Covenant. The minute they stepped in, the waters parted and all the Israelites were allowed to cross on dry ground.
After all had crossed over, God instructed some to go back and gather twelve stones from the middle of the dry area in the river. Joshua 4:7 relays the rest of the story:
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 peoples of the earth may know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty, that you may fear the LORD your God forever.
Judy said, “Put a stone in this basket with a name for every life God touches through your heart. This basket will serve to strengthen your ministry and encourage your heart in years to come. I’m glad that my rock is there first!”
Over the years the rocks in the basket would grow. I found different rocks in various locations and took my time to make them special. One special rock has the name “Jake” on it. His mother called me from an airport in a frantic state because her pregnancy test was positive. Her husband had a vasectomy and she was certain this was the child from a forced one-night stand.
“He’ll leave me over this and my girls will lose their father,” she said. We did everything to help her and even got her to a pregnancy center for an ultrasound. She wasn’t far enough along so it was difficult to see her unborn child. She was determined to abort. Her final words to me were, “Either my baby will die on Good Friday or he’ll be born near Christmas.”
She rocked my world for several days as I fervently prayed for her. When Good Friday came and went I was overwhelmingly sad, believing her child had passed away. The next morning a call came but not from the mother. Her husband was on the phone. He said, “I understand you’ve been speaking to my wife.”
He shared with me that she had gone to the abortion clinic but had fled home after they showed a film of the procedure. On her hands and knees, she had told him the truth about her pregnancy.
When I asked about his reaction, he said, “I love my wife. This is my baby.” I was so relieved and spent the rest of the week praising God. That little boy had a rough time coming into the world. He’s a joy to his parent’s lives. And his mother is a friend still.
What rocks will be in your basket? Do you think that God can use you to help others? He certainly can and it will have nothing to do with you but everything to do with Him working through your heart.
It takes all the pressure off to realize that God wants to use us as a vessel of His peace. While our vessel may be cracked and broken, God’s assembled us back together into His beautiful vase that He can use!