Hands and house

Hands and house

Monday, February 15, 2010

Memorial Box Monday...The Window

  
 I have been thinking and praying about writing a "Memorial Box Monday" for a long time. Linny at A Place Called Simplicity ( http://aplacecalledsimplicity.blogspot.com/ ) started these awhile back and reading her stories has been such a faith building thing for me. The idea is that you have a box in your house and in that box you place items that are a reminder of something that God has done. In Joshua 4 it says:
  
"So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, "Go over before the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, 'What do these stones mean?' tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever."

   And in Deuteronomy 11 it says:

    "Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the LORD swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.

 I am still looking for a box to put my reminders in but will get there! I decided to start writing down the things the Lord has done because I do not want to forget them! It is so easy to slip into forgetfulness of what I am waiting for and begin to doubt what God can do...but when I take the time to look back...I begin to remember, there is nothing He cannot do!


   So...I want to start today with a story from waaaay back. Back before marriage, kids etc. In my 20's I was a backpacking guide for Young Life's Wilderness Ranch. The summers that I spent up high in the San Juan mountain range taught me so much about God's deep and crazy love for each of us individually. He literally will move mounatins to touch our lives. So, as a guide, we would take groups of high school kids on 7 day backpacking trips. We would leave base camp (10,000 feet) and hike up higher (up to 14,000 feet) and the whole point of the trip was to get to know these kids, to love em, and teach them about Jesus.
     On this particular trip, we had a group of kids from Texas. I cannot remember where in Texas but I remember their southern drawl :) I was getting to guide with some of my favorite people from camp and we were doing a spectalcular route...all signs pointed to a great week. On this route, we would spend half the time on one side of a set of mountains and the other half on the other side where we would be picked up by the camp van. To get from one side to another you go up the range and through this section called the Window. The Window is just what it sounds like it is, a chunk of missing rock ( a LARGE chunk) from a huge ridge near 13,000 feet that has been struck out by lightening over the years. It looks like a missing tooth in a kidergarteners smile. The trick was that we had to get through the Window on day 3 or we would not make our pick-up to get these campers back to camp on time.

You can see the Window on the left of this photo

    So day 1 we started hiking and chatting and praying as always, it is a day filled with excitement. Kids were pumped to be backpacking, blisters had not started yet and the clouds made the day not too hot.  As we began to get to know the kids, we noticed that for some, their faith seems to be a bit of a veneer, more something owned by their parents than something of their own. We started to pray that God would do whatever it takes to make himself real to them during the week.  Day 2, those clouds that were so great began to cause rain...and wind...and lightening. So we hiked as far as the base of the climb to the Window and hunkered down in our tents to dry out for the night.
     On the morning of day 3 we awoke to thunder...not a good sign. Then it began to hail...also not a good sign. So we gather together and talked and prayed and decided to wait another hour. In that hour, the weather cleared a bit but then would get worse again. Finally, we decided that we may get soggy but we had to cross the Window and that we may as well start. So the wet socks went into the wet boots and the other guide and I went into full pump up the campers mode (i.e. it makes your boots happy to be wet, that's what they were made for! Pain is just weakness leaving the body! We get to be a team and encourage each other!) all the while, we were sticking our wet feet in our wet boots ...and praying for sun.
    So we start slowly slogging up the steep slope towards the Window...black clouds swirling above us. About 100 feet below the window we look up, just as lightening strikes the window! Ok...so I was alright with rain and wind and swirly dark clouds, but lightening, in the Window???? We told the kids to take a break and the leaders all huddled again to talk and pray. We all felt like we were supposed to move forward and attempt the window. We explained this to the kids and they agreed so we started on our way.
    I remember that everything seemed to go in slow motion as we got closer. I remember hearing the clicking of the metal of the carabiners on my pack...and I remember the peace of feeling like God was there. We inched our way closer, held our breathe, and stepped into the Window...and I am not kidding you...


  ...the clouds parted, rays of sunlight poured down and lit up the entire path in front of us! We whooped and giggled and cheered as we danced our way down the other side of the mountain praising God for what He had done. You know what we worried most about for the rest of the trip? Sunburn.
     I have the tesitmonies of the kids from that trip on video (a video crew was with us to do a promo)...each and every one of them talked of how that experience forever changed their relationship with God. They talked (may through tears) of how real He had become, how amazing His love was and how they wanted to live their life purely for Him. All because of how the Lord had met them in that Window.

   The first thing in my Memorial Box???? One of my old carabiners that clicked during the lightening strikes :)

10 comments:

Mom Of Many said...

Oh Shannon! Perfect story, perfect God!! Love that you are remembering and memorializing His faithfulness - Yippee Jesus!!

Keep it up girlfriend - keep it up!! Love, love, love it!!

xo

David and Sarah said...

What a beautiful story of God's extravagant love and faithfulness. He is so good, isn't He?!

Blessings,
Sarah

Bloom Where You Are Planted said...

WOW!!

That is such a beautiful story! Thank you for reminding me about being intentional with documenting God's faithfulness along our journey.

I know that at some point, I will forget just how He has revealed Himself to me during this valley that I am in right now...

I love the idea of a box too.

Laurel said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog (from Linny's).

LOVE this story. I was a YL leader ... and took a group of girls on a week long backpacking trip at Beyond Malibu. Wow! What a week it was!

Look forward to reading more of your blog.

mama of 13

Renee said...

What a beautiful story of God's faithfulness! Thanks for coming by my blog and commenting too. Your family is so beautiful! All three treasures from God.

Shannon said...

Thanks so much you guys! It was fun to write and I cannot wait to write more next week! God has done so many amazing things and I do not want to forget them!!!!

allisyn said...

hi shannon! thanks so much for praying for my cousin. you do not know how much it means to me to know that someone i dont even know cares enough to pray for her. :)

Naomi said...

Shannon

What an amazing story! What a great testimony for all those kids. I wonder if any of them might read your blog one day and be reminded of God's answered prayer!

Jeff also worked for Young Life before he met me!

Gretchen said...

Love your first Memorial Box Monday! You are the best! Keep them coming!

Laurel said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. Yes .. we live in the beautiful Pacific NW.

I grew up in So. Tacoma. We spent 10 years in Puyallup ... then 10 years in Lynden (by the Canadian border). Now ... we recently moved to Lopez Island in the San Juans, to pastor a church.

Let me know if you ever want to take a trip to the beautiful islands of our state.

mama of 13

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