After an incredible victory over the Philistine army, the prophet Samuel paused with the nation of Israel to commemorate their triumph. Samuel selected a stone and named it Ebenezer, meaning"stone of help" in remembrance of the victory that God brought them through. (1 Samuel 7:10-14)
The stone served as a reminder, a pause, a call to celebrate that which God had done. The Ebenezer was a reminder of God's faithfulness and the help he gave during the fight. It was a reminder that He was faithful in this battle and He would be faithful in the next battle.
Sometimes life can feel like a constant barrage of battles, one thing after another. Just when things seemed to be going well, a grenade goes off. It can be even more difficult to accept the explosion when we feel so impassioned and called to the path we are plowing. Then...kaboom. A surprise. Something unexpected. A hairpin turn on the pass.
It is during the times of the unexpected twists and turns that we can look back over our shoulder and see the Ebenezer and remember God is faithful, God is good and God is our helper. But we have to build the Ebenezer. Remembering God's faithfulness is an active pursuit. It requires intentional focus on what He has done not the pain we have suffered.
A bomb went off in my life yesterday. While on a walk this morning God asked me this question, "Stephanie, are you going to build an Ebezener to remember the pain you feel, and the pain that you have felt in the past, a reminder of failed attempts and do-overs? Or are you going to build an Ebenezer to remember my faithfulness? Do you trust me that I will be faithful even with this?"
I have a choice. Construct a mammoth-sized reminder of failure and defeat, or missteps and trials. Or construct a God honoring altar, an Ebenezer, to remember His goodness and faithfulness through the trials and failures.
Today I am making a choice. I chose to believe that God is still faithful. God is good. God is my helper. Even when I don't understand, even in spite of the pain. He knows what is best for me.
You too have a choice for the battles that you face today. What kind of Ebenezer have you constructed? One to remind you of your pain? Or one to remind you of God, a "stone of help", who brought you through the pain?
God is good. God is faithful. God is our helper.