The picture above was my WhatsApp display picture for some days a while back. In the verses that preceded that one, the Israelites were attacked by the Philistines. Samuel cried to the Lord on their behalf and the Lord answered. The Lord thundered and threw the enemy into panic and the Israelites triumphed. After the victory, Samuel took a stone and set it up at the border. He named it Ebenezer – stone of help. The importance of the stone was such that, anytime an Israelite saw the stone, they were reminded of the miracle. They were reminded of God’s help.
One of the things I have learnt is that as humans, we have the propensity to forget things. As well as forgetting things, we forget the feelings that we had at a given point in time. Permit me to share a story to illustrate this. More than a year ago, I had an examination to write. At that point in time, I was overwhelmed by the challenge ahead as well as some other things I was handling. I broke down. I was scared. I was tired. One night, I cried to God. I wept like a baby. Then, I heard God speak to me with a passage: Exodus 14:15. “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? ….move on.” I would like to say that after hearing this, I suddenly became confident. But that would be untrue. It took me time to build my confidence.
Why did I tell the story? It is an Ebenezer of some sorts for me. I remember some of the details vividly because it happened recently. However, in a couple of years, I might not remember how frustrated I felt or how afraid I was. I might even be tempted to feel I approached the period with confidence. But this post is a reminder for me. It is an Ebenezer.
The Patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were men of altars. They constantly raised altars as a reminder of their experiences with God. This helped them not to forget the experiences they passed through. An altar is not a suggestion, it is an instruction. “Build my altar wherever I cause my name to be remembered, and I will come to you and bless you.” (Exodus 20:24)
I strongly believe that we should have Ebenezers all around us. My current desktop background is a picture that reminds me of a major landmark in my life. I also have a particular picture that I saved on my desktop. It is a reminder of what God can do. There is a shirt that reminds me of a miracle. Those are examples of Ebenezers. I would plead that you set up reminders around you; in your car, in your room…everywhere! It would help remind you that if God did it before, He will do it again.