Build and altar

The most awesome part of yesterday was very early in the morning. I woke up and went to the window. I looked outside and saw that there was no wind and the sky was absolutely clear with a million stars. I was so overwhelmed with gratitude because that is the sign that God gave me several years ago telling me that everything is going to be all right. It looked exactly the same as that night all those years ago. I praised God quietly for His love and His grace and went back to sleep.

I think every one of us needs a sign. Something that is going to let us know that God remembers us. Because we have very small minds that easily forget. We can of course make a sign for ourselves. When God has provided extraordinarily we should remember it. When God has saved us from desperate situations, we should remember it. When something has happened and we really don’t want to forget it we should make sure we remember it. I collect stones and I write on them. I like to think of it as building an altar. It isn’t a physical altar as such, more of a spiritual altar but with physical reminders.

God’s people, the Hebrew nation, were very good at forgetting things and this is said over and over in scripture.  God also tells parents to tell their children and their children’s children about the great and good things that He has done. When we’re in a difficult situation we often suffer from amnesia and fall into doubt and worry. We get desperate and don’t believe that God will save us out of the situations we find ourselves. If we remember the things God has done for us in the past and the situations He has rescued us out of it serves to strengthen our faith. We are able to find solid ground to stand on and we can praise God for what He did in the past and that in itself gives us a better hold on our emotions.

Psalm 103:1-2, Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!

Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:

Then David goes on to list all the benefits of serving God, but he says don’t forget the benefits.

Exodus 12:14, So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.

Once again it’s about remembering. This was the initiation of the Passover. See what happened when Israel crossed the Jordan into the promised land:

Joshua 4:20-24,  And those twelve stones which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up in Gilgal. Then he spoke to the children of Israel, saying: “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ then you shall let your children know, saying, ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land’; for the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over, that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.

This is meant not only for the Jews to remember what God did, but also for other nations to remember so that they can see what God is capable of doing. We have the opportunity daily to speak to people who don’t know God and we can tell them first-hand about what God does for us.

1 Peter 3:15, But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

We should really be shining lights in this dark world. Like the stars that were so bright in the dark night sky. We have to stand out as being different, and as this verse says, as having hope. When things look dark we have to light up the situation and people have to see that we are different. We simply can’t be like everyone else. We also have to devise ways of remembering the goodness of our loving Father so that when there are difficulties we can rise above them.

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