Picking Up Stones

All throughout the Old Testament we read where God’s children built altars of sacrifice.  Much blood was shed to atone for the sins of His people.  But altars/monuments were also constructed as a memorial to those who passed that way so they could see that God had delivered in that place…God had come through on this ground…

Abraham built an altar in Genesis 13:18 when God have him his promise that he would have more descendents than the dust of the earth.  In Genesis 22:9 Abraham built another altar and was willing to sacrifice the fulfillment of that promise in his son, Isaac. However, God stepped in and provided a ram.  In Judges 6:24, Gideon built an altar after he had seen the very face of God Himself.  They were altars where Jehovah Jirah, the Provider, displayed His provision and met the needs of His children.  They were altars where God displayed his realness to a common man.  They were memorials where great works had been accomplished and these situations became turning points in those individuals lives.  These happenings effected the people so much that they would take time to pick up sometimes huge stones, pile them together, and offer sacrifices of praise.

I have built altars in my life.  I have constructed monuments through the years.  People can look into my life and see these monuments because I have piled huge stones that weighed heavy.  But I didn’t offer sacrifices of praise on these altars.  Instead, I marked these places in times of great loss and pain.  Because of this, when I look back over my life, I have a tendency to remember the pain and loss and not the provision of God.

Life has a way of making sweet things bitter.  Just because we are christians, we aren’t immune to life and all its glory…whether it be good or bad.  However, the bad places in life…the times where the sweetness takes on a different taste…these are the times when life is hard to swallow.

I built my first monument when I was very young.  My mom was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and because of her sickness, she had difficulty expressing her love for her family.  I didn’t realize how deeply this effected me, but it did…and I built a monument to remember the loss of that love.  When I was 17, my mom died and I built another monument to remember the loss of hope in ever having a relationship with her.  I spent years at these monuments until life offered me an opportunity to construct another monument with the death of my grandaddy and then my grandmother (“Memaw”)….and then the death of my job that I had devoted so much to…and then finally, the death of my marriage.  I spent so much time constructing these monuments and picking up huge stones of guilt and bitterness…just adding them one on top of another.  I couldn’t move on because emotionally I had drained myself by continuing to pick up the stones of pain.  My inner strength grew weak.

I found myself telling my best friend the other day that I felt I was doing better only to find myself the next day struggling again.  I told her I was tired.  And I am…but I realize why now.  I found myself building another monument to mark the pain…and picking up those stones makes you weak.

Psalms 107: 8 -9, “Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!  For He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.”

God wants us to mark areas of praise!  Of deliverance!  Of provision!  The Psalmist declared, “Oh that men would praise the Lord!”  Praise brings joy!  “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” – Nehemiah 8:10.  If you lose your joy, you become weak.  So God wants us to mark the places of His delieverance….of His grace….Like, telling my mom the night before she died, “I love you” and laughing with her. Like, the opportunity to accept a mother’s love from a precious and beautiful woman.  Like, the opportunity to minister at a new place of employment, and like…looking into the eyes of the two most sincere gifts of God that He gave me through my children.  These places…when I offer praise at these monuments and begin to move on from my other monuments of pain, they truly grow small in comparison.  And eventually, after I move on a ways, I imagine it would cost too much to make the trip back to them, when I can still see my monuments of praise.

What are you spending time remembering?  Have you built altars and marked life’s failures?  Are you growing weak from picking up stones of guilt and shame?…or are you praising Him for His goodness.  Are you taking time to sacrifice, praise, and acknowledge the delivering hand of God?  Look back, what are you giving your strength toward?  Remembering the pain and the loss, or building praises unto God?  “Oh, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness!”

 

 

 

Author: Britney Wilkes

Copyright © 2010-2011 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved

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Published in: on March 11, 2011 at 12:36 pm  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. great

  2. GLORY BE TO THE LAMB OF GOD, WHO WAS SLAIN FOR MY SINS:

    Thanks to God for this post, it really changed my way of thinking. Last year i was arrested for driving a stolen car. My friend had bought this car from another crooked garage unknowingly, then He asked me to drive him home since He was not good in driving.

    On the way, we found road-block, we were searched and the car was declared stolen.
    We were arrested, stay in Jail for 5days then we were realesed on bail, since then i,ve been attendind court case twice a month or once a month, now it’s almost a year but the case does not end, this worries me a lot, sometimes i ask me why, why. The place where i attend the case is about 700km from where i stay, it cost me fortune to get there twicely a month.

    On January my car was involved in an accident, it’s still in the garage now, so this makes it too difficult for me to reach Court on public transport. now i’m deep in arrears in my clothing accounts, furniture accounts. My life is not balanced anymore.

    But i know the Lord will make a way for me

  3. Lately, I’ve been standing at the altar of hurt. Asking “why God why?” I prayed for years and I thought that I was being told to stand still and just wait on his mercy that he would provide and he would make a way for my marriage to thrive. In the end, I am left thinking I heard it all wrong. Or maybe that’s what I wanted to hear.

    I have stones from past hurt and life’s journey that I have used to build a wall. I thought that I had found a person that would not destroy the good things that I had built but I was wrong again. I’m left with a bitter taste and somedays I just don’t believe. At all. I’ve lost my joy.

  4. This is a great site. http://www.gettingpastyourpast.com/. It’s more of a counseling site and it helps with the past hurt and moving forward with yourself and dealing with it all. Even if you don’t use it, maybe one of your readers will. Such great advice.

  5. This advice is awesome and all time it reminds me of a song Landslide because I realize that I have been making excuses to not live right or acceptable. I have so much pain and sorrow in my life but I am giving it to God. All of it now belongs to GOD!!


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