Ebenezer. I type that most people reading will think of an old, skinny dude with slightly used clothing who is always grumpy and grumbling about the cost of coal (thus, heat) and undigested potatoes. Or you think of a duck counting money.
But today is not about Ebenezer Scrooge, but about his name which, I suspect, Dickens might have given to him on purpose.
See, the word “ebenezer” is an actual thing. It’s a thing that you keep around to help you remember what God has done for you, or in you. So, when the Israelites crossed the Jordan into the promised land, and God had each of the 12 tribes pick up a stone and build an alter to remember what He did that day – He was asking them to build an ebenezer. He was asking them to remember what He had done for them.
God knows just how easily we humans forget things, especially during times of hardship or pain. And so, having things around to help you remember what God has done in you is incredibly important. Otherwise we begin to doubt God’s goodness.
As you begin this new year, think over last year. Where were you a year ago? How has God helped you grow? And then, figure out something to keep around to help you remember where He has brought you from.
For me, pictures are a big deal. Every year for the last four years (if you count this one too) at the beginning of January, I have gone through all the pictures I took of the year that just ended, and put them together in a memory book. Memories are important. Our journeys are important. The stuff God does in our lives – the big and the small, mundane everyday stuff that we might not even really notice – is important.
This year, take some time out to remember. Figure out an ebenezer – you’ll need it in the coming year. God is good, but sometimes we need reminders of just how good He is.