Psalm 77:11 (NIV)
I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
Write the name of each of the twelve months on a piece of paper. Now see how much you can remember that happened in each month of 2014. Include big things and small things, good things and bad things.
For example, you might list things like getting a new pet, having a birthday, starting a new school year, starting a new job, going on vacation, catching the flu, welcoming a new baby brother or sister or son and daughter or even losing a loved one.
Do you think you have a good memory? How much can you remember that happened in 2014? Have you noticed that people do a lot of remembering this time of year? Everywhere you look on TV, in magazines and on the internet, people are remembering the best and worst things that happened in 2014. They talk about the biggest news stories, the biggest movies and other special things that happened.
More important than all that is remembering what God has done. New Year’s Eve can be a fun time to look back at the last year and remember the cool things God has been up to in our lives.
The Bible talks about how important it is to remember what God has done. For years and years and years, God had been promising to give His special people, the Israelites, their very own country, a place called the promised land. They used to be slaves in Egypt, but God rescued them, and in this story He does a miracle by stopping the water of a river so the people could cross over to their new home. Wow, what a big day! The Israelites got a brand new home thanks to God’s amazing power, and they didn’t even have to get wet going there. God did not want His people to forget the awesome things He had done. He didn’t want them to forget how much He loved them, so here is what He told them to do.
1 When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, 2 “Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, 3 and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from right where the priests are standing, and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.”
4 So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, 5 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, 6 to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 7 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.”
What did Joshua have the people do? How do you think they felt every time they saw that pile of stones?
Look at all of these things that happened to you this year. Which months do you think God was with you? One month? Two? No, God was with you every single day. What are some things on your list that you can thank God for? Where did God show up this year? What are some hard things that He helped you through?
Remembering the things God has done for you gives you the courage to face the future. The same God who was with you this past year, promises to be with you in the new year no matter what.
Dear Lord, thank You for all that you did for us this past year. Thank You for being with us all year and thank You for promising to be with us in the New Year. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.