Nope, not Mr Scrooge and not the guy named Eezer who is the main geezer and will vibe around the place like no other man could. (forgive my digression into early 90s pop, it was a strange time for us all). I’m talking about the old school Ebenezer’s, from the Bible. Sparking off the last post about my need to remember God I happened to turn to the next bit of 1 Samuel that I’m ploughing through at the moment and found exactly what I was talking about. The Israelite nation has once more turned back to God, got rid of their idols and cried out to God. Thankfully Samuel is on hand to intercede for them and they get God’s help once more in trashing the Philistines. Immediately after the battle Samuel places an Ebenezer, a stone of help to remind everyone that God has won the battle, that God has helped them. You’d think that would be easy to remember but apparently not. They needed a massive big fat stone to go, hang on, wait, ah yes, God was the one who helped us.
I like the physical reminders of things, I like the idea of putting a really massive stone in the ground to remind everyone of what happened in battle. I’m wondering what Ebenezer’s there are in my life:
I have a box full of letters and cards sitting in my bedroom from friends over the last 13 or so years. It’s a box that tells a story the further you dig down into it and it reminds me of the good, bad and crazy times that God has brought me through over the years. It’s full of friends reminding me of God and it’s full of God reminding me of where we’ve come from.
In a drawer in my writing desk is a half finished scrap book, one of my many ambitious projects that has never quite been realised. (although one day I will make granola, I will) In it are pictures, ticket stubs and random bits from the last two years of marriage. In time I want it to become an Ebenezer book. I want to create more books we can look back through in years to come and know that the Lord has helped us thus far.
We have a blackboard in our kitchen full of what we will eat this week, things we need, pictures friends have drawn of themselves and I wonder whether it can serve as an Ebenezer, a reminder of the things of the Lord in this world as we eat our breakfast.
I have countless files on my computer, writings that will never make the light of day because they are full of wrestling encounters with God, times of struggle and as I look back over them I see the handprint of the One who has never given up on me. My Ebenezer’s are less made of stone and more of typefaces across a screen.
When I go to the Lake District I see mountains and valleys that are still there, I see the changes in me as I visit an unchanging landscape and as I live far from there I know that those rocks and crags remain, reminding me of the Creators never failing hand on this world and work in my life.
As I look around our flat I see objects and furniture that were gifts from others, tangible reminders of God’s grace. As I live in this flat I feel the weighty joy of gifts on our lives as we had no way of buying this without them.
I have two rings on one of my fingers on my left hand. These remind me of vows I took and another person I am part of. These remind me of the weird steps the Lord took to get us together, these remind me that I am part of a covenant. Remembering this points me to the deeper covenant we’re part of that makes sense of this earthly one and enables us to walk in it.
It turns out that Ebenezer’s are everywhere. I want to look deep and remember. I want to take note of the Lord’s help thus far. I am forgetful and small and need the physical tangible reminders of the presence of one so much bigger than I in my life each day.
What are yours?