“Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD.” Genesis 13:18
As usual, at the beginning of this month, I started reading the Bible through again. I can’t remember how many years I have been doing this, but it has been a long time. I have certificates to show for the last fifteen or so years but had been doing it long before that. It always amazes me as I read through the familiar stories, that new thoughts and ideas jump out at me.
This year as I read through the life of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob I marvelled at the fact that everywhere they moved in their journeys, they built an altar unto the Lord. This was a monument to remind them that God was with them, and they needed a place to worship and praise Him.
I began to think about the different places I had lived in, and there have been quite a few. I could picture the place in each one where I had made an altar each day, a time, and a place where I could read my Bible and talk to the Lord in prayer. When I was single, it was usually kneeling beside my bed. In later years, it was a chair in the living room, rising early while others were still sleeping. Those days I prayed silently, so as not to disturb my family.
As memories surface, I can remember many times at my altar asking God for miracles to happen in the lives of my family. There were times of rejoicing over the blessings that God had bestowed upon me and thanking Him for answering prayers. When I was mourning the loss of my husband, I found the comfort and solace I needed there at my altar.
Today I am living alone, and my altar is in one corner of my living room. Each morning I take time to read my Bible and commune with God in prayer. I have different needs that I pray for including family, friends, missionaries, and my church family. Throughout the day I experience the presence of God. And so, my whole apartment is really my altar, because God is with me every moment.
Where would I be without my altar, now that COVID-19 has limited our ability to gather in our church buildings? I am so glad that this was a habit I had established, and so current restrictions have not changed my relationship with the Lord.
I trust that everyone reading this has established a personal altar in your home, a place to meet the Lord and fellowship with Him every day. Without it, we cannot stay close to God.
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for that slot and spot where we commune with you each day, a place of fellowship and worship. Help us never to forsake our altar.
Devotion by Anne Johnston