I cleaned out some closets over the weekend, one of which was the storage closet in my grandkid room. Mostly, I have toys and baby equipment in there, but the top shelves are filled with photo albums, baby books, and old Bible study notebooks and materials. With that kind of stuff, I have a hard time not stopping and looking through them. I always see something I forgot about, something special and dear, and this time was no exception.

In the girls’ baby books were recorded “firsts.” When they pulled up or crawled, cut their first tooth, and ate their first solid food. There were pictures galore of funny little things they’d done that I’d totally let slip into the dark and dusty recesses of my mind, and pulling them back out restored that sweet feeling I had when it was actually happening. I remembered being that new, novice mommy who was flying by the seat of her pants, flinging prayers to heaven with just about every breath, and certainly with every cry – both the babies’ AND mine – and as they grew in front of my eyes with each turned page, I saw how God had caught every one of those prayers, answering with His strength to see me through.

When I got to my Bible study notebooks, I flipped through the pages, realizing that these were snapshots of where my heart was at a certain point on my life’s timeline. I saw that I would answer some of the questions differently now, as circumstances have changed, my family’s grown older, and life experience has continually remolded my perspective. Mostly, though, I saw how God had met me right there, at that time, how He’d answered my prayers – so many of them that I’d completely forgotten about – and had been always faithful.

On the heels of that afternoon of looking back, I had a lunch planned with a new friend. I met her yesterday, and we sat outside in the glorious weather, exchanging pleasantries and ordering our food. We began to answer each others’ questions about our families and, before long, I realized that we were both recounting, event by event, God’s faithfulness in our lives. Each of us had stories to share where we were both just shaking our heads in an “only God” kind of wonder. It was a praise-fest of epic proportion, that left me smiling all the way home and for the rest of the day. I came away (and I suspect she did, too) with a renewed sense of awe that this God – my God – is still doing miraculous, wondrous things.

Sometimes I think we forget that. We forget in the midst of the ‘right now’ of our lives, in the middle of the current crisis that leaves us feeling like God is nowhere around, that He’s always been around. He’s never left. There’s real merit in doing a little traveling back in time and taking stock of how God has shown his faithfulness again and again. I promise, if you do, you’ll come away from it with a bolstered faith, and a booster-shot of belief. In a way only God can muster, the recollection of His faithful and tender mercies in our lives reopens the power in them, pouring it down again on our ‘right now’ like a warm summer rain. Delicious. Sweet. Needed.

I’m thankful for the memories in my closet, and the ones stored in my heart, that serve as my “Ebenezers” of faith. But more, I’m thankful for a God who uses them over and over to remind me that He is a constant, always there, never leaving presence that was and is and is to come. He is faithful no matter where I travel in time.


“Samuel took a single rock and set it upright between Mizpah and Shen. He named it “Ebenezer” (Rock of Help), saying, “This marks the place where God helped us.” 1 Samuel 7:12 MSG

This I recall to mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul, therefore will I hope in Him.” Lamentations 3:21-25 KJV

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8 NIV