Ebenezer Book

just a little Ebenezer

I’ve spent a lot of time lately reflecting on God’s faithfulness.  I’m over focusing on only the dark spots on my timeline, because the long and short of it is that God has been overwhelmingly and incredibly faithful to me.  My History is sprinkled with his loving interventions.

So many people think history is about what used to be, but I tend to believe that history has even more to do with what will be.  We can’t navigate the future without the knowledge we gained from the past, what we have moved through and hopefully beyond.

I sat in church this morning and soaked in a teaching on the condition of the heavy soul.  A heavy soul exists because you’re either hurting about where you’ve been, struggling with where you are, or you’re anxious about the future.  Hurt and anxiety naturally add weight to the soul

During the teaching we were encouraged to look over God’s faithfulness in the past to gain faith for our current surroundings.  Remembering God’s provision takes the weight off our heavy and anxious souls.  Sadly, my problem is that I tend to be incredibly forgetful in the midst of the difficult seasons, I freak out and say things like “it’s not going to be okay” or “it’s always going to be this way.”  It’s like dementia hits my memory and I can’t trust in God’s guiding hand because I have amnesia on a soul level.

So I guess I need to start a practice that helps me remind myself of how crazy faithful my God has been to me.  So out of that need I came up with the idea of the Ebenezer Book.  Yes as in “here I raise my Ebenezer, hither by thy help I’m come.”

An Ebenezer was a monument to God’s faithfulness in the Old Testament, something that the Hebrews physically put up for themselves as a reminder of a time when God showed up in a visible and obvious way, it was usually a stack of rocks.

While I think this would be cool, and can totally see myself celebrating God’s goodness by hauling some rocks around the back yard and getting my inner mason on, this form of raising an Ebenezer isn’t too practical for me now.  I am prone to wander so much that I need some sort of reminder.  So I am starting an Ebenezer Book where I record times where I have eyes to notice God’s faithfulness.

The hope here is that when I start to act like the sky of my life is falling I will grab this book and read over that ways in which God has provided.  Not only that but I will have to record these Ebenezers (Ebenezerai?) as they are happening which will only force me to drink them in even more, to gain an even fuller realization of how deeply God is at work in the moment.

I’ll even record one for you right now.

A few years ago Kel and I made the commitment to live debt free via the Dave Ramsey Plan.  Which meant incurring no more debt for his Seminary classes, which are about $550 a credit hour.  Tuition was coming due and although we had received some help, we had no idea how to pay for all of it.  With a brand new baby and a brand new mortgage I thought we would have to incur more student loans or he would have to quit.  Late one morning I got a phone call, there had been a financial aid mixup in our favor and a scholarship Kel barely knew he had applied for was waiting to cover the entire semester’s bill.  I put down the phone and cried and almost ran out into the backyard in my pajamas to get down to Ebenezer building (because he’s a Judaic studies minor and these things have rubbed off on me)  

This is the sort of memory that is going in the Ebenezer book.  

Or I could just put a picture of both of my children in the book, although I’m sure they would be climbing on my lap trying to check out the book out for themselves as I read it.  So, I really only need look around me to see the reminder of God’s faithfulness through them.  Their faces, their curls, their personalities, how they were exactly what we needed, exactly when we needed them.  How the first time we brought the home we wondered how we ever did without them.

Ebenezers, both of them, although I’m sure they’re quite happy they avoided us naming either of them Ebenezer.

Yes, I must give this a try, because I am fickle, and I am human and I need the reminder.  Remembering will bring peace, I just know it.

Have you raised an Ebenezer lately?  Or maybe you’re as fickle as I am and need to get into this habit so you don’t pull a chicken little when the tiniest crack appears in your life.

  • Heather Tiger

    One of my favorite hymns! This is an incredible post and idea. Yes, I will promptly be sharing this and “borrowing” the idea of the Ebenezer book. I think that combined with reading the 1,000 gifts (when it arrives) will really help my soul.
    BTW, Matt Daughtrey-Grubbs and Amy named their eldest son Ebenezer, Eben or Ebe for short, and it has really grown on me! What a visual reminder he is everyday of God’s faithful provision!