Building My Altar


Kelly Hallahan, Missionary, Uganda

Building My Altar

It’s just two hours until my deadline. The girls are needy. The boys are playing video games. And this topic of building an altar in the midst of chaos is all too relevant. As a missionary, wife, and mom of four children, the demands on my time are many and urgent. I don’t know what you face today, but I am sure the needs around you are urgent as well. We all need to build altars and meet with God; but, it isn’t easy. I want to share three things I am learning about building an altar.

1. God knows my frame. He understands the demands on my time and how many times I have been up in the night with a needy baby. There are days when I don’t have 20 minutes to sit by myself and “do my devotions.” But on those days, He reminds me that just a glance from my eyes ravishes His heart (see Song of Songs 4:9). It’s the attitude of my heart that matters. My desire to be alone with Him is a pleasing offering even when actually being alone with Him cannot happen. This is the altar of desire.

2. God accepts my living sacrifice (see Romans 12:1). As I cook, clean, and care for my family and neighbors, I can worship God. Everything that is done in love can be turned into worship. My motives are not always pure, and sometimes I serve with a spirit of resentment. When the cry of my heart is “for You…for You…for You…,” this is the altar of diligence.

3. God delights in my neediness. I don’t like asking for help. My American independence is a hindrance to my spiritual growth. He loves to meet my needs. And whenever I call out to Him in poverty of spirit or body, He comes (see Matthew 5:3); He fills me. This is the altar of dependence—it’s one of His favorite places to meet me. My prayer today is that we will build an altar wherever we are in the world and meet with the living God. He created us to bear fruit for His kingdom, and, without Him, we can do nothing.