Moms are often tasked with being the “memory keepers” of the home. They fill in the baby books, save the kindergarten crafts, set aside outgrown but cherished toys.
But who records the record of God’s faithfulness to your family? In the Old Testament, God had the Israelites build an altar to remind them of His faithfulness.
“So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, “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, to serve as a sign among you (Joshua 4:4-6).”
“And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God (Joshua 4:20-24).”
I don’t know anyone who has build an altar lately, but I do know many people who experience God’s faithfulness on a regular basis. Everyday your kids come home from school safely. Every time you recover from an illness. When you have the resources to buy a home. When you land a great job. And so many more examples in both the big and small categories.
It’s easy as humans to think of God as the heavenly Santa Clause and turn away in frustration when things don’t go our way. Do any of these questions sound familiar?
“I’m a Christian, why did God allow my mother to get sick?” or “I go to church every week, I volunteer, I sing in the choir, why did God let my husband lose his job?”
Maybe it would help if we did build altars when we experienced God’s goodness. Then, like the Israelites, we could look back on them and remember that God was (and is) there for us. Remember, that at the time the Israelites build the altar in the verses above, they had just been through a very difficult experience. There had probably been times when they thought that God had forgotten them. But He had not. He was working things out in His own way, in His own time. And after the altar, they would continue to struggle. God knew that humans get busy, they forget, they doubt. Sometimes tangible practices help encourage spiritual growth.
For me, when I experience God’s faithfulness, I try and write it down. Because I know that a day will come when He doesn’t feel close. When I will struggle with fear and doubt and wonder all “the whys.” And in those moments, I might forget. So I need a record of His goodness to me and to my family.
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!
- Great Is Thy Faithfulness by Thomas Chisholm