The path we take through life isn’t always the easiest. It can be filled with hurt, disappointment, anger, rejection, pain…the list goes on. At the same time, life can be beautiful. The joy of a newborn baby, the sweet scent of summer flowers, the smile from someone you love.

The good times are gifts.

But what happens when we’re in the middle of the difficult times? When everything around you fades and all  you can focus in on is the fact that you hurt. That things aren’t easy. That your path isn’t as clear as you’d like it to be.


Washington Monument

Since moving to Washington, D.C. I have been struck by the presence of so many monuments. They are everywhere! In parks, book-ending the National Mall, in museums,  all around the city. They stand like sentinels, proclaiming the fact that there is something important we must remember.

Our Monuments

We have monuments too, though they may not be quiet as majestic in our minds as they ought to be.

I think of the many times in the Bible God has asked his people remember.

…I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. (Psalm 77:11)

…Remember that you were slaves in Egypt. (Deuteronomy 24:22)

…Remember the wonders He has done, His miracles, and the judgements He pronounced… (1 Chronicles 16:12)

…In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus… (Acts 20:35)

…Remember the wondrous works that he has done… (Psalm 105:5)

… In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” (1 Corinthians 11:25)

There are times when God asked His people to remember the past in order for them to gain strength for the future. To look back on His provision in order for them to take heart in their present, difficult circumstances. I think this is no different for us today.


Lincoln Memorial

In fact, I’d go further to say we have even more reason to rely on the Lord and place our trust in Him because of the overwhelming evidence of His goodness.

What?! You may say. You don’t know what I’m going through.

That’s true, I don’t know, but I do know that God will provide you with what you need in order to withstand and weather whatever trial you may be facing. I’m not going to assume that I know what those difficulties are, nor will I say that they aren’t hard. Trials, by definition, are hard. But that’s not the issue. The issue is how we will walk through them.

Use Your Monuments


1) Turn to God

This is always the right response! Thrust everything, every care and weight, upon the shoulders of our Lord. He is more than able to handle everything you could throw at him. Tell Him how you feel. Cry out to Him. Seek His comfort rather than worldy comfort.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
(Matthew 11:29-30)

mounuments-12) Look back to your monuments

I advised my students in youth ministry to do this but have also recommended it to friends my age and most of all to myself.

Take the time to dive into your past for the monuments that can be established. Their importance is to remind you of the times where you clearly saw the Lord’s hand in your life or someone elses. If you can’t find any of your own (or if you can but want more) turn to the Old Testament and start reading!

One of the best results from digging into scripture is to see how God has dealt with His people in the past. We see his faithfulness in ways that are indisputable. I think of Moses and the Israelite nation being led from Egypt, Joseph and the reconciliation with his brothers, King David and the forgiveness of the Lord, or Ruth and the healing God preformed in her life.

3) Walk forward in hope

Close your eyes and think about grace. About the Lord’s love. About His care for you. Meditate on His truths in scripture.

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6:26)

These truths are life-giving and filled with hope. It doesn’t mean you are taken from your present circumstances or that they will change. We may never fully understand why we are allowed to go through the things we do, but we can be assured it is not without purpose. Even if that purpose is to bring us closer to the Lord in our time of struggle.

Take time to establish monuments in your life and let them lead you to the Lord and His comfort!

Questions to consider: What have you seen the Lord do in your life? In someone elses? What stories bring you comfort from the Bible? What are your monuments?

Emilie Hendryx About Emilie Hendryx

Emilie is a freelance writer, photographer, and graphic designer living in Northern California. She’s a member of ACFW and writes Young Adult fiction. In her spare time, you can find her designing fun bookish items for her Etsy and Society6 shops all while drinking too much coffee.
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