By Becca Stavert | March 24, 2020
I remember in elementary school when we learned about the US Presidents, my dad told me exactly where he was the day JFK was shot. I recall being so blown away at the fact that something in a history book actually tied into not only the real world, but my own dad. From that point on, I remember taking small mental snapshots of the world around me and thinking, “Is this going to make it into a history book? What am I going to tell my kids about this?” Even as a 3rd grader on September 11, 2001, I remember pausing on that day to catalogue what was going on, thinking about how I would tell this story later in life.
Looking back in remembrance is a natural human capacity, because it is one that mirrors our Creator. God’s often repeated call and command to His people throughout the Old Testament is to remember. I am reminded of Deuteronomy 4, when Moses commands the people of Israel: “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. Remember the day you stood before the Lord your God.” Part of staying in communion with our faithful Father is holding fast to our history with Him — not letting His powerful movements fade from our hearts and minds.
One command that the Lord gave to the Israelites in Joshua 4 was to not only remember, but physically build up stones by the place where God acted faithfully for His people, so that, “In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them [the story].”
I can assert with confidence that we are living one of those moments that will be in history books. No matter who you are or where you are living, you will have stories and moments that you will share with the next generation about where you were — how the moments that belong in a history textbook came off the page and intertwined with your reality. So now it is important to heed the commands of God to His people of old again today — watch closely that you do not forget, and set monuments to the Lord’s faithfulness now to look back on with your kids and grandkids in years to come.
Remembering is also not something that is meant to occur alone, we are called as a community to look collectively on how God moves in unique and beautiful ways in His children’s lives. We at Fullerton Free are collecting stories now in eager anticipation of the mutual encouragement for now, and the monumental moments of God’s faithfulness we will get to look back on in the months, years and decades to come!
– Becca Stavert