“Then God said to Jacob, “Get ready and move to Bethel and settle there. Build an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother, Esau.” So Jacob told everyone in his household, “Get rid of all your pagan idols, purify yourselves, and put on clean clothing. We are now going to Bethel, where I will build an altar to the God who answered my prayers when I was in distress. He has been with me wherever I have gone.” Genesis 35:1-3 NLT
Jacob’s family didn’t leave for Bethel until they threw away all of all their pagan idols. I imagine Jacob telling them not to pack the idols and try to hide them. What idols am I still holding onto? So many times I give them to God and take them back. It hinders me from moving forward to what God has for me next.
Jacob knew that God would be with him, just like he was before. If only I could remember that more often. I think that’s why it’s important to have “altars” in my life to remember all God has done. He was with me, even when I felt like he was far away. He was working when I couldn’t see it. It spurs on my faith for future unanswered prayers.
“And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” Luke 11:9-10 NLT
I was talking to a friend’s daughter who is in the process of looking for a college. She wants to go to the same art college that I went to. As I was telling her about my experience there, I was remembering all of God’s goodness. It wasn’t the first college I went to. I transferred there from a Christian college. I was planning on commuting, but I needed transportation. God provided a car. As I stood in the art store on one of my first days there, I met a girl who was involved in a small Christian group on campus. God was showing me that I wasn’t alone. That he was intimately involved in my life. Reciting his faithfulness, gives me the hope that he is not finished with me yet. His plans are still good.
Fast forward 25 years or so later. And I am still asking Him what it looks like for this 43 year old mom of four to use her gifts. Trying to discipline myself to make it a priority. Sometimes it means becoming an intern at my church so that I catch up on skills that are foreign to me. And trusting God in the process. Remembering when I stepped out of my comfort zone before, gives me the courage to do it again.
Thank you Father for always meeting me where I am. Forgive me for when I doubt. I pray that my weaknesses would bring me closer to you. And that my faith would flourish (my one word this year). Amen.