“I thought I was going to die,” reads a journal entry I wrote following my first experience climbing in the Colorado Rockies. Trincherra Peak sits at 13,517 feet, and from tree line to summit, I felt every inch of it. With every step, my breath grew increasingly more shallow. I’d hope, sometimes falsely, that the rock I’d chosen to cling to wouldn’t give way beneath me, and all too frequently, I’d have to pause to relieve my aching legs and throbbing feet.

“Why did I think this would be fun,” I asked myself at every rest.

But slowly and steadily, 1000 ft became 50 ft, became 1 step and I summited my first peak. The rush of relief and joy I felt were enough to knock me off my wobbly limbs, but I stood there in breathless wonder, feeling both strong and small in the vastness of it all. There, on the mountain top, was a monument of stones stacked by climbers who had made their own journey to the top.

As I proudly placed my stone on the pile commemorating my journey, I was reminded of those old testament believers that built similar altars to commemorate the good things God had done on their behalf. For instance, in Genesis 28:10-19 after an encounter with God, Jacob lays up a stone in his campsite and calls the place Bethel, meaning “house of God.”

We are daily building just such altars in our lives. Often, it’s only when we look back that we see one demonstration after another of God’s loving-kindness in our lives. When I’m faced with new challenges, I return to the monuments I’ve built over the years. Those instances when the Father comforted me, when obedience to His word paid off, or when He made a way where there seemed to be none, I am reminded that my life is a history of the goodness of God.

Antonette Weatherly is a wife, mother and minister who lives in the Sherman area. You can find her weekly serving at Victory Life Church. She can be reached at antonetteweatherly@gmail.com.