My friends, I do not want to turn this into a very, very long article by explaining all the details behind "memorial stones" all over again. If you would like more information, I have an article written on 12/27/04, 'Memorial Stones -- Crossing Over,' that offers a solid explanation. If you are unsure what I am referring to here, please refer there.
Yesterday, I found that another set of stones were set up for me. Here is one particular quote from the aforementioned article -- “I’ve placed stones in the deep places for you.” Once again, I've discovered stones placed in the depths of His glorious presence. As God directed so many others long ago, as outlined in the aforementioned article, to place memorial stones at certain points along their way, I have taken those stones from the deep places and I have laid my claim to them.
One day, my path will, perhaps, pass this particular way again. When it does, the stones I set up today will serve as a reminder. Thus, MEMORIAL STONES:
Genesis 28:10-22 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran. When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. There above it stood the LORD, and he said: "I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."
When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it." He was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven."
Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. He called that place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz.
Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear so that I return safely to my father's house, then the LORD will be my God and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God's house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth."
"Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran." Jacob was not in Beersheba. He was not in Haran. He was neither here, nor there. He was in a place, up to this point in scripture is unnamed. We do not find out until later that the name of the place was Luz. "When he reached a certain place," (an unnamed place) "he stopped for the night because the sun had set." (Not only an unnamed place, but an unnamed place in the dark.)
Many have tried to put one tag or another on where I have been the last few months, spiritually, but even I could not tell you, myself, where this place has been. It was not a desert, actually. Nor was it a wilderness, nor a valley, nor..." But the sun definitely seemed to be setting. The light of God's promises to me from long, long ago has seemed further and further and further from my reach. I had grown weary in waiting.
And yet, that place was given a new name. Jacob named that place Bethel -- House of God. And Luz? The area of hard decisions. Well, the place that no name seemed to have been appropriate for, in my case, has certainly been an area of hard decisions for me. But Luz wasn't alone with getting a new name. So did Jacob. For, in Genesis 35, upon returning to Bethel, the Lord gave the one He had once called "you worm" a new name. And again, Bethel was also renamed.
Genesis 35:1-14 Then God said to Jacob, "Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau."
So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, "Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes. Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone." So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods they had and the rings in their ears, and Jacob buried them under the oak at Shechem. Then they set out, and the terror of God fell upon the towns all around them so that no one pursued them.
Jacob and all the people with him came to Luz (that is, Bethel) in the land of Canaan. There he built an altar, and he called the place El Bethel, because it was there that God revealed himself to him when he was fleeing from his brother.
Now Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, died and was buried under the oak below Bethel. So it was named Allon Bacuth.
After Jacob returned from Paddan Aram, God appeared to him again and blessed him. God said to him, "Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel. " So he named him Israel.
And God said to him, "I am God Almighty; be fruitful and increase in number. A nation and a community of nations will come from you, and kings will come from your body. The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I also give to you, and I will give this land to your descendants after you." Then God went up from him at the place where he had talked with him.
Jacob set up a stone pillar at the place where God had talked with him, and he poured out a drink offering on it; he also poured oil on it. Jacob called the place where God had talked with him Bethel.
Truly, the place in which God resides, His abode, Bethel, "the House of God," is the place where God "talks with." And Israel's meaning? "He struggles with God."
Before these "stones in the deep" were brought to my attention, the Lord said two things to me -- "Come out into the deep." And then, "Wrestle with Me. Wrestle with Me the way that Jacob wrestled with Me until I blessed him. Wrestle with Me. Come out into the deep." Sometimes the weary do not necessarily need rest. Sometimes they just need extra nourishment for the journey.
I have gone out into the deep. And there, I found these stones that I set up today as MEMORIAL STONES. Today, I can honestly say that I know what it is to "wrestle" with God. And it isn't anywhere near the same thing as my son and I wrestling around in the floor together. And it isn't disrespectful at all. It is something that's often required of those who wish to be blessed.
Sometimes the weary do not necessarily need rest. Sometimes they just need extra nourishment for the journey ... How often, Joyce, I've said of late, "Lord, I'm so weary. Can't I just rest? I need rest." But how mercifully right you are. It isn't rest I'm craving, thought 'sight' may cause me to think so; it's an openness to more of Him. A sojourner must keep placing one foot in front of another, for to stop, to draw aside, is to loose the blessing of wondrousness of walking with Him. And that is the longing of this heart ... a faithful, abiding, walk with Him - my footsteps falling into His as together our journey continues. God bless you, Joyce.
AMEN! Thanks for reminding me that 'wrestling with God' is not the same as 'wrestling with another'. I, too, have many memorial stones set up and many times He has taken me back to them to remind me. The deep is where He is. "Deep calleth unto deep."
Well Sis, you have the word, now run with it, we want to obtain the prize! Exodus 3:14-And God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM-(15)Moreover God said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. THIS is MY NAME FOREVER, and THIS is MY MEMORIAL to ALL GENERATIONS.