How to remember the hard places God meets us in

Originally published Wednesday, 15 April 2015.

There he [Jacob] built an altar, and he called the place El Bethel, because it was there that God revealed himself to him when he was fleeing from his brother. Genesis 35:7 (NIV)

Out of the blue Xylon said to me, “I want to put something up in our new house to remind us to never forget what we’ve come through and the places God has met us in.”

Surprised, I asked him, “What kind of thing are you thinking?”

“I don’t know maybe just the words, ‘Never forget’. I just want to be reminded not to take today for granted.”

I’ve been thinking a lot about that conversation lately, about how every day is a gift, and about what would be symbolic enough to remind us of all the places that God met us in the last two years of Xylon’s cancer treatment. 

This has led me to think about the biblical idea of Altars, to think on the stories of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. How there were pivotal moments where they met with God and commemorated it with an altar. 

Maybe the most striking thing for me as I’ve thought on these stories is how almost always God met these men when they were going through hard things.  

The Lord met Abraham and Isaac when they were in a crisis. 

The Lord met Jacob when he was in crisis.

The thing that always stuck out for me is that altars were built in the places where God met them to remind them how real and present God is in the midst of trouble.

It’s made me realise how easily I forget all the moments in the last three years where God held us, delivered us and changed us. 

There is so much I want to forget about the last few years but I never want to forget how faithful my God was through it all. 

We haven’t worked out how we’ll commemorate what God has done. We’re talking about a work of art but perhaps God will lead us to another idea. 

But I want to find a way to remind myself that God meets me in hard things. 

Ponder: What moments has God met you in that are worth remembering?

Pray: Lord Jesus, thank you for all the moments that you’ve met me in. 

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- This was orginally published on my site in December 2014. To read more devotionals like this go to