This week in Bible study, we were asked to look back on our lives and reflect on where we were when we began our spiritual walk versus where we are now. It is so important to do that occasionally, to remember the times when God seemed especially close and to remember the difficult times God has brought us through, for it is a means of encouragement when we are in a dry period spiritually in our lives.
In Old Testament times, when God made his presence known to leaders of the faith, they would often times build an altar at the exact spot of the encounter with the Lord. After God revealed himself to Jacob in Genesis 35, Jacob built an altar and named the place where the altar sat, “El Bethel” which means “God of Bethel.” In Joshua 5, Joshua asked the twelve leaders of the tribes to set up twelve stones, to serve as a reminder of when God stopped the flow of the Jordan River so the ark of the covenant could pass through. After 40 days and nights of rain, when Noah, his family and all the animals emerged from the ark, the first thing Noah did was build an altar to offer sacrifices to the Lord. God had brought them through the storm.
God brings us through so many storms in our own lives that when we emerge, we don’t have to build an altar, but we can consciously create a “mind marker” to forever remember God’s grace in our lives. I can remember my faith being tested when our youngest son had problems at birth and ended up in neo-natal intensive care for nine days. Through our prayers and the prayers of the church, we were carried by God through this time. Our youngest child is now a healthy thirteen year old boy! I will never forget that stretch of time and think back on it when our son tries our patience!
We can also go back to our “mind markers” in our spiritual journey. One of my markers is when my friend introduced me to Christ in my high school freshman English class. God worked through my friend to change my life forever. I have another “mind marker” when I rededicated my life to Christ in 1993 as well as “mind markers” for all the times God spoke directly to me about something I needed to do in my life. I don’t receive direct revelation from God that often so when I do, it is special and it is usually life changing. It is worthy of a “mind marker.” On those days when God seems far away and I am not feeling all that spiritual, I remember all the times God was so close that I could touch him and it boosts my spiritual low.
Psalm 77:11,12 says, “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.” What mighty deeds and miracles has God done in your life? If you haven’t already done it, create some “mind markers” today so that you will never forget the works of the Lord in your own life.