It’s September 11th today and I was thinking about how many millions of dollars have been spent in the memorializing the events that happened 14 years ago. The vast importance of never forgetting where we’ve been and what we have experienced as a nation together. The loss of life and bravery shown by those willing to sacrifice themselves for their fellow man. The consequences of the devastation that occurred during those hours have redefined our sense of security and our vulnerability, yet mark a dedication and fortitude to move forward irregardless of those threats.
It also made me reflect on the nation of Israel in the Old Testament and how important events and celebrations were physically marked with stone monuments that exist even to this day. Years later, God’s people would enter and pass those those places and remember what God delivered them from and his faithfulness towards them!
A recent conversation highlighted the significance of remembering God’s faithfulness on a personal level. How many times does God ask us to step out into the unknown and simply trust Him to provide? He does, but only after He has first proven himself faithful in the smaller things. I have an entire list of times that God has shown up in big and small ways.
One example follows:
Before I met my wife I told God that I didn’t want to date until I knew that I knew that she was His perfect mate for me. That she was His choice, not mine. (I already knew what happens when I pick… :-))
When we met I was utterly intrigued by her. I started slowly and told God that I was going to write her a letter and if He wanted us together she would have to write back. In all of God’s humor the letter literally took two weeks to travel 500 miles from Columbia, SC to Lancaster, PA. It then took her reply another two weeks to get back to me. So a month later I called her. We talked until three in the morning. When we got off the phone I was walking outside praying about what this meant. The Lord told me we would be married within a year. I wrote it down in my journal and promptly forgot about it since it seemed entirely improbable if not impossible.
Just before her first visit to South Carolina I laid a fleece before the Lord with the strangest thing I could think of which was three obvious lights. It was close to Christmas and we exchanged gifts when we reached my apartment. Upon opening her gift, I sat in shock that there were three framed photographs, each containing a different light. I think there was a sunrise, a light house, and a dock light. She thought I hated it since I literally couldn’t speak… 🙂 When she asked me I told her I loved it and left it at that.
Shortly afterwords I asked her to marry me and she said yes. Our wedding date moved around several times due to schedule conflicts with another wedding. Finally we just set the date and got married. Several months later as I was digging back through some old journals and came across the entry of when we got off the phone. Turns out it was a year to the day after the journal entry that we got married.
So what does that mean? What significance lies in God’s confirmation of his will? Well, as we have walked through extremely tough times in our marriage over the last twenty years I have always come back to the fact that I know, that I know, that I know, that God picked this woman of all others out to be my perfect helpmate. That it was His will for us to be together and who on earth am I to separate that. There is hope in knowing and understanding and testing God to reveal His will. When he has made it abundantly clear mark those places, come back to them and remember His faithfulness.
The picture that Lena gave me still hangs on our bedroom wall. It serves as a stone of remembrance for me to this day.
I think about David’s life in the Old Testament. When faced off with Goliath, you find a mere boy that is willing to pick a fight that no man in his right mind wanted to fight. I can guarantee you, that had God not given him places in his past where he slew lions and tigers he would not have had the confidence to take up the challenge. I wonder what came even before the lions?
It can make all the difference…
Father, bring back to me times and seasons that you have been faithful. Allow me to write them down and allow them to serve as a reminder, yea a monument to your faithfulness. Let them never serve as an idol or source of pride but use them to strengthen my own faithfulness towards you.
Seek the Lord for times in your life that God was faithful. When you come to a place that stepping out of your comfort zone seems impossible, lean into what the Lord has done before.
May the Lord bless you and keep you…