God is faithful. Many of us are familiar with the scriptures that assure us of his faithfulness. Those like, he will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6), he is our very present help in time of trouble (Psalm 46:1), and has plans to do us good and not harm (Jeremiah 29:11). We know the scriptures and have experienced them in our lives, but we have not done the best job of commemorating them. You know, documenting and celebrating them in some way as a reminder to ourselves and for educational purposes to teach our kids and generations to come that God is faithful.
People in Bible times made it a priority to commemorate God’s faithfulness. They so valued his presence, promises and deliverance that they did not allow special moments to pass without commemorating them. Of course, it was common for them to give thanks for blessings, but it was also common to set up markers of some sort to commemorate God’s faithfulness. Often times in the very place of the blessing and for the entire world to see. Abraham, after God stopped him from sacrificing Isaac and provided a ram to sacrifice instead, named the place “The Lord Will Provide.” (Genesis 2:14) Jacob, on the way to Haran, at sundown rested his head on a stone pillow. There he had a dream and the Bible tells that afterwards, Jacob “got up very early, took the stone he had used as a pillow, set it up as a pillar and named the place “Bethel,” which means “house of God.” (Genesis 28:18) He did the same after wrestling with God in Genesis 32. That place Jacob named “Peniel,” which means “face of God” for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared.” (Genesis 32:30)
Joseph, in another account, named his firstborn “Manasseh,” which means “forget” because God’s faithfulness had made him forget all his troubles. His second son he named “Ephraim,” which means “fruitful” because God had made him fruitful in the land of his difficulty. (Genesis 41: 50 – 52) Hannah did the same with her son Samuel whose name means “heard of God,” because she had asked for him in prayer. (1 Samuel 1:20) There are many other accounts, but let us not forget that of Moses and the Israelites who at God’s command commemorated the day they came out of Egypt because God delivered them. They celebrated their deliverance annually with festival and were to explain to their children why they were celebrating. (Exodus 12 and 13)
I suppose you already know this, but if you’ve forgotten, allow me to remind you that history is important. Remembering is important. And, passing on your stories (testimonies) is important. Don’t allow your experiences with God to happen and then become a thing of the past. Create your own history books of God’s goodness, set up your own markers, celebrate regularly his faithfulness, and pass on your stories to your kids and all who will listen. You will find encouragement in your commemorations when it seems that God has forgotten you, and your kids will find hope when they are experiencing unknown territory in life.