I recently spent time marking the milestone of my February birthday with my family. Another trip around the sun. I got to pick our dinner location, as is our custom on someone’s special day. We celebrated together and ate ice cream, and I received wishes from friends and family near and far. It was a joyful day!
This month is my son’s birthday, and next month we will celebrate my daughter’s birthday. It’s kind of a birthday-after-birthday season for us early in the year. It’s a busy time of planning for me as a mom, but a super fun few months celebrating each other and marking the milestones together.
Perhaps you have recently celebrated a milestone in your life… the birth of a baby, a wedding, a graduation, a new job, the start of retirement, the completion of a challenging project, or many more. They all give us reason to pause and remember and celebrate.
MARKING THE MILESTONE OF 25 YEARS
Last fall was a milestone of a different kind for me. I changed pump suppliers after nearly 20 years. Not only did I have a lot to learn with a new system (that I now love), but I had a closet full of new medical supplies to organize. There’s just something about the thought of arranging shelves with easy-to-find supplies that excites me. I’m a lover of all things related to organization. (Do you have a system for your supplies? Please share!)
While I was organizing my happy little heart out, I was also purging some things I no longer needed. In going back through a cardboard box of things marked in thick black marker “kp old med supplies,” I found something I had almost forgotten about. My 25-year diabetes journey award.
Getting this medal from Eli Lilly (who now routes through Children With Diabetes to provide journey awards) happened nearly six years ago now, but it was a moment I won’t soon forget. It was a day just like any other with diabetes, but I remember opening the package. I slowed down and considered what it meant to live with diabetes for 25 years. All I had learned and experienced over those years was worth taking that time to pause, marking the milestone of 25 years with diabetes.
It’s also important consider marking the milestones in our walk with God. To recognize His work in our lives. To recount His faithfulness. To thank Him for His provision.
In our family, for example, we like to celebrate spiritual birthdays each year to commemorate the day we chose Jesus and were baptized. It’s our way of marking the milestones and being thankful in the journey.
MARKING THE MILESTONES IN BIBLE TIMES
Joshua, the successor to Moses as the leader of the Israelites, also marked milestones. In Joshua chapter 3, the Israelites were preparing to cross over into the promised land on the other side of the Jordan. But they saw a river rushing and overflowing full of water during their harvest time ahead of them. It likely seemed like an impossible feat. An impassible barrier. But God, just as He did a few decades earlier with the Red Sea, stopped the flow of the water for His people. The entire nation of Israel crossed through the Jordan on dry ground to the other side.
Once they had made it across, Joshua instructed each tribe to take a large stone from the riverbed. They were all set up as a memorial—a way to remember God’s provision and teach future generations. Joshua said:
WE NEED REMINDERS
God knows we are a forgetful people (Deuteronomy 6:12), so He helps us remember. God provides us reminders. And He is with us through it all. What a good Heavenly Father we have. And what marvelous milestones we have to mark with Him.
What are the “Jordans” in your life? What seems impossible to you right now? Could God be calling you to something that will build your faith and strengthen your trust in Him?
How do you celebrate marking the milestones in your life with diabetes and in your spiritual walk with God?
What do you need to pause and consider and celebrate as a milestone in your life?
Lord, I thank You today for these reminders from Joshua. Thank You for his example of extraordinary faith and leadership of Your people. God, I know in this life I will face obstacles and barriers. I pray today that I would learn to trust You more and more when I see them up ahead in the distance. I pray that You would be at work guiding and directing me to overcome them, and that I would be open to Your leading. I pray You would help me remember and celebrate the milestones in this life—to know You are at work in my life, and give You praise for Your faithfulness and provision. And I pray You would be glorified through it all. Amen.