i hate road trips. i’m not a “joy in the journey” kind of guy. i just want to get there and get it over with.
i’ve been after my kids for years to invent a teleporter, but my lazy children haven’t taken up that directive.
the only thing that makes the travel semi-enjoyable is the scenery. or an audio book.
apparently road trips in the Old Testament were also quite scenic. now there wasn’t a gas station, (well, maybe . . . camels, you know), or billboards promoting Abe’s Passover Supplies. but there were landmarks.
these landmarks were monuments, more like a pile of stones. a handmade monument to something that happened in the past. and usually that something was really quite something. in fact, it was extra-ordinary because it involved something significant that God did in the lives of people.
check out these verses. no seriously, stop and look them up. don’t just glance over them and say i’ll read them later. i’ll wait here till you get done. here are the verses: Genesis 28:10-19
did you look them up? okay, i’ll trust you. in each verse, God did something. He encouraged. He delivered. He guided. and the person involved wanted to make sure he didn’t forget it. he wanted to remember what God did and what he learned about God in the process.
here’s the thing. God has done some stuff in your life, and He probably has done some stuff in your marriage.
what about that time when you had no idea how to pay that bill, and somehow, somewhere, just the right amount showed up?
or that time when you had no clue how to respond to your spouse, and you whispered, “God please help me, help her”—and He did? He gave you the words to say, and wisdom to know what was really going on.
or that time when you both were afraid, but you knew you needed to venture out to do something scary and uncomfortable? whether it was a move, a new business, a new job, you both felt like it was a “Here we go” moment.
all of those are moments when God did something in your life. He provided. He guided. He directed.
build some altars.
no not actual physical ones.
well, i guess you could, but you can have nice looking ones. let me explain.
a few years ago, i had the opportunity to co-write a book. we had very young children, and it was a very demanding process because i was legally bound to finish the book by a certain date. my wife carried a lot of the load of caring for our kids, something we normally shared. so when i got a check at the books’ completion, i wanted something to show for it. something we could look at it and be reminded of how God had guided us through this process. through the long days with young kids, or the internal battles i fought with insecurity and words. so we bought some furniture for our bedroom. every time i look at that furniture, i remember what God did in our lives.
maybe you don’t have the money to buy furniture, or another garden gnome, but you can find some way to have a physical reminder of how God provided. maybe it’s a box of “altars,” written stories on paper, folded and placed in a box.
maybe it’s a tree you plant in your yard.
whatever it is, find a way to be intentional about acknowledging how God has worked in your lives, and in your marriage.
you’re going to need that reminder someday. you’re going to need to remember that God provides.
or even cares.
and with a glance, you’ll know that the God who did something then is still at work for what’s going on now.
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