By Gary Miller
During the early archery season, I arrowed a nice doe. I calculated that I was in my tree stand about seven minutes. Before I went to search for my deer I gathered my equipment, loaded it on my four-wheeler, and took it to my truck. By the time I was back to my tree stand about 40 minutes had passed. I knew I had made a good clean shot and there shouldn’t be any trouble finding my deer. I had tried to mark where I took the shot but by the time I was back on the trail I was confused. I looked for my arrow and any sign of blood but could not find either. I decided to climb back up into the tree stand to look again at where the doe had stood. I recalculated and shortly thereafter found my arrow and a few minutes later, the deer. Later, I thought about how difficult I had made a simple procedure simply by forgetting where I had made my shot. I was reminded of a spiritual truth I had learned a few months earlier.
All through the Old Testament when man had an encounter with God, God commanded him to build an altar. Abraham was the first that is recorded. God had told him that he would have a son. This was a real stretch for Abraham to believe since he was about 75 years old at that time and his wife was barren. God told him to build an altar. Jacob was another. He physically wrestled with the angel of the Lord one day. Jacob was given a lasting limp but his encounter was followed with him building an altar.
We have the significance of this in another example. The Children of Israel were crossing through the river Jordan. They were now in the land that was promised to them. God told them to take twelve stones, one for every tribe, and stack them up so that when their children pass by, they could tell them how God had delivered them. These stones would be a remembrance of their encounters with God.
Many times God has encounters with us. There may have been a time that He called you into a certain ministry or He may have spoken to your heart about a particular matter so clearly that it was undeniably Him. Since then time has passed. You have not forgotten about that moment but it seems distant and it has caused you to doubt. But what if you had built an altar at the time and place that God had spoken to you? You would be able to go back and remember exactly what transpired there. And your faith would be renewed.
It’s not too late. Maybe you need to take a trip back in time to that place that you had your encounter with God. While you’re there build an altar. An altar is anything that will cause you to remember what happened. One time I scratched an “A” in a tree, so that each time I passed by that tree I would be reminded of that moment with God. When I see that tree, doubt and discouragement leave and faith is restored. It’s just like getting back up in that tree stand and seeing it all over again, like I did when it first happened. It made the path clear once again.
Gary Miller can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com