“Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. The LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him.
From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD.” ~ Genesis 12:6-8
This weekend was a restful one for me, but it also marked yet another month since my husband’s passing last summer. It seems like a terrible way to keep track of time, but there is no escaping it. I couldn’t forget the date anymore than I could forget to breathe.
As sad as losing a loved one can be, it made me think about the other dates we remember and anniversaries we celebrate. Birthdays, holidays, wedding dates are all marked on the calendar to allow time to reminisce and rejoice. And, as is my case, so are the tragedies we experience.
But as I read through the account in Genesis, I can’t help but notice something. Abraham doesn’t just celebrate the major life events by building an altar to God – he builds an altar whenever God does something for him. Rather than merely say a prayer of thanks; Abraham builds something out of stone, something that will last, as a marker to the glory of God.
What a beautiful concept! As I think about it, I don’t take the time to honor God in this way – by noting the date and worshipping Him for all that He has done for me in my life. And truly, He has done a lot. I think about all the ways that He has provided and cared for me, and now my son, and I realize that I should be celebrating God’s goodness daily! Taking the time to honor Him by marking the dates of great things He has done seems like an incredible way to praise Him.
Looking at my calendar, I will be spending some time today finding ways that I can celebrate and worship God for what He has done for me over the past year. And going forward, I will try to mark down the days that that I see Him working in my life. I encourage you to do the same – to keep track of when you have experienced His goodness, mercy and joy. I imagine that we will discover we should be building altars everywhere!