Well. I’m glad and a little surprised to see that this blog still works. I even got my password right on the first try! It’s been awhile and my words are rusty, but I’m going to share them anyway because we’ve all got to start somewhere.
I just finished today’s “assignment” in the devotional book I’m reading through (Adore by Sara Hagerty, if you’re looking for one). The last place she sent us was to a verse in the book of Hebrews. And as I turned to the passage in my new Bible, I couldn’t help but think how worn the pages of that book of the Bible were in my Bible of eight years ago.
A Bible study about the book of Hebrews was the first one I ever wrote. Kathy Phillips, who has taught me more about God’s Word and His heart than nearly anyone else, had somehow entrusted me to write the workbook for her Bible study. I remember the weight of it, the painstaking and meticulous choice of nearly every word I typed. I remember how holy it felt—I didn’t feel particularly holy, but the moments did. I remember wondering how God would allow me to do something I loved doing so much.
I also remember asking Kathy a lot of times: “But did you read such and such on page 12?” I was so desperate for someone to make sure everything was right.
We printed it at a glorified Fedex, and I picked up the 200+ copies in the back of my car. There was a typo in the Introduction, and I spent 2 hours sitting in the tailgate of my car, correcting it with a Sharpie pen on the night before we handed out the study.
I still thought it had the chance of being perfect.
It was not. It flooded the day we were going to hand them out, and I ended up at lunch alone, car still full of what felt too weighty to cart around.
Eventually the study started, more typos were found, mistakes even, statements I’m not sure I still agree with written on those pages.
But still—when I flip to the book of Hebrews, I remember how grateful my younger self felt, how humbled, how terrified, how desperate I was for Him to show up as I opened those pages and begged Him to lead me to lead others into the pages of His Word.
I want that back. I know things now, have lived things now, that that younger woman did not foresee, and I have seen the heart of God in a way that I hadn’t back then. I’ve met Him in ways and places that I didn’t know to expect.
He has been so faithful to that 25 year old and 26 year old and 27 year old. He has ministered so personally to me, but sometimes I forget. He’s so faithful to show up that this 34 year old can forget to even notice that He’s there.
But the book of Hebrews is still where it always was. And God is still where He’s always been. And He builds these touch-points into our lives so that years later, we are still moved by the memory of His nearness in one seasons in a way that reminds us He is still near.
Maybe it’s not the book of Hebrews for you. Maybe it’s a place or a date or a scent. Maybe it’s a photo or a pair of shoes you wore when you walked a particular road. Maybe it’s not a thing at all, just the mysterious breath of the Spirit that stirs you to long for God in a way you once knew Him.
He hasn’t moved. He hasn’t changed. He hasn’t shifted with the shadows.
We don’t have to go back to find Him where we knew Him.
We turn around to remember His faithfulness to us years ago, and we worry that we cannot climb back in time. We want to return to days when we were more faithful.
But as we turn to look back, a strange thing happens: we find ourselves face to face with the God who has faithfully stuck beside us. We expected to look back in time, but surprisingly, we looked back to Jesus.
And while our faith may have wandered, His faithfulness has not.
Our pasts can somehow press us forward, and today can become a testimony in itself, even if no one else can see its significance. It’s not just this day that God has been faithful, it’s every day that brought me here:
God has not forsaken me, even on days when I have forgotten Him.
“Here I raise my Ebenezer,
hither by Thy help I’ve come.
And I hope by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at Home.