Datenailing 33

A couple of months ago I stumbled upon an interesting find at the flea market. I just love a good flea market don’t you? Let me say that Nashville has one of the best too. Then again, I am biased.

I found these nails from old railroad ties that had been replaced. They are actually called datenails. Call me a geek but I was truly intrigued by these nails. On the top is stamped the year in which they were put into place on the railroad ties. It would give aid in knowing what year the perpendicular track had been laid as support for the main railway track. They serve as a marker and time stamp, a point of staking into the ground to guide future maintenance and repair.

I found one marked 33 in the pile of datenails, and quickly purchased it. I keep it positioned on my desk, where I sit many days. I even snapped a photo of it a few weeks ago to carry with me. Why?

Because I have been marking this year of 33 as my Jesus Year. Often we need memories beyond the ones in our mind or written on a blog to carry as reminders. For me, it sits as a marker that this year is drastically different than the ones before it. The datenail shows me that 33 is and will be one to be marked. In so many ways. But mainly as a year of difference. A different attitude, a different perspective, and a different approach.

I have left the past where it should be and am supporting the track that is laid out in front of me. It’s putting the first supporting beam down and looking ahead.

In reading Joshua currently I am seeing a reflection of that same shift. As they crossed the Jordan, led by Joshua who was doubting his ability to lead the people as Moses’ successor, they were commanded to pick up stones to carry with them. This was a moment to remember, not only for those present but for the children who would ask questions later. It would serve as instruction beyond the moment. Those stones would put a stake in the ground of their lives in the wilderness, and serve as a reminder of the miracle God performed in drying up the Jordan for their crossing into the promised land of Canaan.

How beautiful to put a stake in your time in the wilderness and use a marker to remind you of the miracle God performs in bringing you out of it, and into a land He promised. Today I carry this datenail with me, as it sits as a reminder of the promised land ahead in the journey of this year, and as I leave the wilderness behind.

And he said to the people of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’  then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’  For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.” Joshua 4:21-24 (ESV)


Do you have a marker or a memorial piece of a time when God brought you out of the wilderness and into a promised land of your own?


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