As I write this John and I are in Washington D.C. for a few days of meetings and a chance to see our daughter and friends. Here, I am surrounded by monuments meant to remind us of the freedom we enjoy and the ways it was purchased at a high cost.
We lived here for a couple of years and are back frequently. Every time we come back we do new things, but we also return to visit the monuments we know.
Monuments help us remember our roots.
Returning to these and remembering their significance brought to mind a time when God prompted me to go back to another kind of monument.
A few years ago, there was a day when I was really shaken up. Someone did something hurtful that left me rattled and wondering if I could be sure of anything. It was one of those rare times when God prompted me and I actually paid attention. I sensed Him saying, “Go back to what you know.”
In the back of my mind, I thought I remembered that maybe this wasn’t the first time He had said this. I checked and sure enough, I wasn’t the first one God said this to.
Isaiah 46:9 says, “Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.”
I felt guided to go back to a place I knew – a monument of sorts – a lake where I walked and prayed every day of a very difficult season of my life. It became a holy place for me…a physical “rock and refuge” place. A place where I cried out to God and was reminded of His power and sufficiency regarding any circumstances.
There I met God again. While walking the path on this day I was nudged to go back and review what I knew of God and myself. I needed to have Him remind me that I’m a precious child of His and nothing (not even mean people) can change that. I needed to be reminded that even when I’m shaky He’s not and He still believes in me. I had stumbled, but I fell back into the loving arms of Jesus.
Do you think Mary ever went back to the stable in Bethlehem? Did David ever go back to the spot where he brought down Goliath? Or did Peter row over the spot where he walked on water? Each of them being strengthened by the monuments to God’s faithfulness?
When things knock you off stride, what/where do you return to?