The layers of paint and collage in this piece feel archeological to me. I kept hearing “ancient walls.” I did a quick search, and couldn’t find that phrase in the Bible, but did find two places in Isaiah where it mentions ancient ruins. Isaiah 58:12 and 61:4 both speak of rebuilding the ancient ruins. Raising up what had formerly been devastated and repairing and restoring what had been ruined and desolated. It’s an interesting contrast to Philippians 3:13 where Paul says that he forgets what lies behind and reaches forward to what lies ahead.
Throughout the Old Testament, God commanded and encouraged his people to remember what he had done for them. The annual feasts that have been celebrated for centuries continue to remind those who partake of what God has done for his people. These traditional times are rich with meaning and promise that the God who acted on behalf of those he loves will act on their behalf again.
I believe that Paul was right, we should forget what lies behind us as far as our mistakes and poor choices are concerned. But we should remember what God has done for us. We should read and remember the stories in the Bible and those within more recent church history. We are part of that tale. The book continues to be written in our hearts and with our lives. God is still working on our behalf; he always will be.
As you see this piece, ask the Lord to remind you of those ancient stones that mark your history with him. Take note of the miracles that he has done for you in the past. The times that he turned things upside down when you thought they were impossible, and when he caused you to look at a situation from a different angle and with new eyes. The stories you have heard from others of his provision and protection are also fair game, as are those in the Bible.
Take courage and comfort that the Lord who saved his people from many difficulties can save you as well. He has planned from ancient times great things for you to do and for you to become the unique expression of his heart to the world. Remember his ancient promises. Out of the ancient ruins, and on their foundations, he is bringing forth a new thing. He is creating in you a great and glorious future filled with hope. Choose the good stones from those ruins – those of promise and victory. Write them down, or create a memorial jar of actual stones. Create an altar of remembrance so that you have courage and hope for wonderful days and things to come. The One who has been with you will be with you.
If you want to get in on the adventure with your own subscription, click here. Get in by the 23rd, and you’ll start receiving yours next month!