How Our Ebenezers Share Our Story

Several years ago, my family instituted an ancient practice: creating Ebenezers. We needed physical reminders that God is with us. Always. Remembering our past gives us hope for the future.

It’s not exactly a well known practice although it should become one again. “Ebenezer’s” claim to fame is a word found in the hymn, “Come Though Fount of Every Blessing.” The reference comes from 1 Samuel 7:12 in which Israel defeated the Philistines. In gratitude for God’s intervention in the battle, Samuel held up a stone calling it “Ebenezer” (God helped us.)

Much of our life as a family involves seasons of pain and struggle followed by seasons of provision and restoration. Creating markers to remember the ways God’s hand moved in our lives points us to God’s character.

We find ourselves in good company.

“The people came up out of the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and they camped in Gilgal on the east border of Jericho. 20 Those twelve stones, which they had taken out of the Jordan, Joshua set up in Gilgal, 21 saying to the Israelites, “When your children ask their parents in time to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 22 then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel crossed over the Jordan here on dry ground.’ 23 For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you crossed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea,[b] which he dried up for us until we crossed over, 24 so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, and so that you may fear the Lord your God forever.” Joshua 4:19-24.

So we write the names and dates of specific events in which we experienced God’s goodness, glory, deliverance, or simply presence on the stones or create them into a sculpture representing them. . Because it goes without saying that at some point our voices will strain as we cry out for God’s help. And the testimony of the stones will speak words of hope to us. We will remember again that God sees us. Hears us. Shows up. Always.

Tell me about your ebenezers.

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4 thoughts on “How Our Ebenezers Share Our Story

  1. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    To some, these are stones,
    the Ebenezers of their days,
    but to me they’re mended bones
    and hair that’s turning gray.
    Oh, no, it’s not MY hair,
    ’tis on some others’ heads;
    it’s the locks of those who care
    and don’t want to see me dead.
    Yes, my life’s the Crazy Train
    of “Hey, watch THIS, dude!”
    and fortune left me with no brain,
    so sanity can’t intrude.
    You y’alls invited, come sit right here,
    and if you don’t mind, hold my beer.

    Reply
  2. Lesley

    It’s so important to remember the times when we’ve seen God work in our lives. It definitely encourages us and increases our faith for the future. I don’t have anything physical to remind me but there are certain dates when I always remember and thank God for what he has done.

    Reply
  3. Cindy

    I love this Stephanie! One thing I have is a small prayer journal that I’ve gone back in and circled the needs I’d listed that had been answered. It is an encouragement to me in times of waiting and worry. I’m going to think more about this. It is something that really resonates with me that I’ve never thought much about before. Thank you for sharing it!

    Reply
  4. Jennifer

    I actually started this practice several years back – after a Bible study – but it (too quickly) fell by the wayside. I’m not sure why…but I know it must be helpful and encouraging to have your family doing it together. That is really special!!

    Reply

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