|Samuel took a stone and placed it between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer saying, "Up to here the Lord has helped us." (1Samuel7:12)|
We have photo collages on our walls to remember what God has done for us as a family. I have a rock on my desk that has the words: "Thank you for forgiveness". I have pictures on my wall drawn by young Caleb in church. I have verses from the new year service at my desk. There's a cross on my bookcase and I often have photos from holidays as my computer screen wallpaper. I have a colourful bracelet on my rucksack that reminds me to PUSH (Pray Until Something Happens).
These mementos are signposts and pointers that remind me of God's goodness and His providence.
Because I easily forget or take these things for granted.
After many years of being far from God, the Israelites, under Samuel's leadership, had returned to the Lord. When the Philistines decided to attack the Israelites in the middle of their act of repentance, God thundered out against the Philistines throwing them into disarray and confusion leaving the Israelites to do the "mopping up" of their fleeing enemy.
Along the way Samuel erects a stone, "Ebenezer: Up to here the Lord has helped us."
I imagine families travelling between Mizpah and Shen and pausing at Samuel's stone pillar. "What happened here Dad?" asks one of the children, and the whole story gets told and families are reminded that the God who brought us this far will continue to go with us.
It is worth celebrating milestones, victories and breakthroughs - especially if it allows us the opportunity to acknowledge and praise the God who has brought us "up to here."