Here at last. We are on the island for our annual family holiday, and it’s a bit like stepping off a moving sidewalk. Months of planning logistics and then weeks of list-making, food preparations, and the frenzied activity of packing (literally everything but the kitchen sink), all culminating in the sudden stop of arriving.
By the time we unpacked yesterday evening, found the most strategic places for beach towels, sunscreen and flip-flops, and rearranged the furniture to suit our taste, we began to unwind, and the last prayer I breathed before drifting off to sleep was, “This is it. The whole week stretching in front of us. Lord, thank you for the blessing of it. Don’t let us miss a single moment of what you’ve ordained for our rest, restoration, and benefit.”
Now it’s late afternoon of the first day. Children are changing into dry clothes, babies are sleeping, and adults are either napping or conversing quietly on the porch. Later on, we’ll all gather to watch to sun set and talk about the stuff of life. And we will feel the Lord’s pleasure in our living and our loving.
This small slice of the timeline for our little family (“little” being a relative term) is heaven on Earth. The extended family doesn’t have many opportunities during the year to be all together, and so the week will be as full of reminiscing and story-telling as it is the making of new memories. Every year this family vacation week feels to me like living in a time capsule. While there is a lot of looking back, it also strangely propels us into the future. It’s been an annual marker since I was a young girl, and now I am a grandmother.
I’m reminded of how the children of Israel lived their calendar year through the rhythm of festivals and how God said to them over and over again, “Remember how I led you out of captivity. Remember what I did. Remember who I AM. And tell your children and their children all these things.”
As it is recorded in Joshua 4, after the Israelites crossed the river Jordan, when God said, “This shall be a sign among you; when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ then you shall say to them, ‘That the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever.” (Joshua 4:6-7 NASB)
It matters that we tell our children what God has done for us. It matters that we tell them the reality of what we are currently experiencing. And, it matters that we tell them what we hope and believe for in the future. It may be that in the telling the Spirit of God will give wings to our words and will carry us into the purpose and destiny the Lord has prepared for us.
Until next week, dear one, tell the story of His mercy and grace.