Jordan Basket

The Jordan Basket is a tradition we established in our family to help us remember God’s provision and faithfulness to us. We got the idea from the book, Celebrations of Faith, by Randy and Lisa Wilson.

Joshua 4 tells of the instructions God gave to Joshua after the Israelites finally crossed over the Jordan River into the Promised Land.

“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.” [NIV, emphasis added]

While Celebrations of Faith called this tradition “Joshua Basket,” we changed it to the “Jordan Basket” (so that Josh would not think it was all about him). Whenever we had an answered prayer or a special provision of God we wanted to remember, we put a rock in the basket, labeled it with a word or a number, and wrote a note about what it represented in a journal we kept near the basket.

I described this tradition in chapter 14 of Unshaken: Rising from the Ruins of Haiti’s Hotel Montana, and how practicing it while I was trapped encouraged me in the darkness. Here’s an excerpt from that chapter:

I decided to do something similar in the elevator. I cleared a small spot along one wall and placed a three-inch piece of jagged concrete there as a reminder that God had saved me during the earthquake. I found and placed a second larger piece under the “survival stone.” Thank you for dying on the cross, forgiving my sins, and accepting me as your child. I put a smaller stone on top of the stack. Thank you for putting Christy, Josh, and Nathan in my life. Another. Thank you for helping us through Christy’s depression. I kept adding to my mini concrete memorial until I had a loose pile of ten or so stones.