Ebenezer

January 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

Book of Remembrance

“…that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ Then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.”Joshua 4:6-7

“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, “Till now the LORD has helped us.” 1 Samuel 7:12

This year our family began a tradition of raising an Ebenezer to remember what the Lord has done for us. We found it a fitting time to enact that tradition at Thanksgiving. An Ebenezer is a remembrance that the Lord is our helper, sustainer, and provider. In Joshua, the text specifically says that the remembrance is for the purpose of teaching the children of God’s faithfulness towards his people, so that the children will not forget.

This year at Thanksgiving we asked everyone to remember something specifically the Lord has done in the last calendar year. We had some amazing responses as to what the Lord has done. Here are a few remembrances from our family:

  • Michelle is remembering God’s faithfulness towards her this year. Michelle had several trials that left her desperate for God. She entered 2009 with orders from the Army to return to active duty at the end of March 2009. As that date approached, she was diagnosed with having abnormal cells in her body. These abnormal test results ultimately led to her being delayed for reactivation into the Army. In the meantime, Michelle began to be pursued by Tyler. While Michelle was awaiting more tests and while her reactivation was delayed, she decided to move to Portland to pursue the relationship with Tyler. Within months, she has been released from her reactivation completely, she is turning up good test results, and she is married to Tyler.
  • Tyler is remembering that God has given him a wife. He has already quickly seen some of God’s intention for a wife, Michelle is such a means of grace in Tyler’s life. She helps him to understand parts of himself that he never knew.
  • Vanessa is remembering how God has, and is, teaching her to be more humble. It is more evident to her that she does not have a perfect husband or perfect children, rather by the grace of God, they are works in progress.
  • Matthew is remembering that God has given him a son this year. The Lord alone is the one who gives life, it is such a humbling reality to know that God would see fit to give me another child. Matthew is also remembering the difficult few months that his family faced through family strife, difficulty at school, difficulty at church, and difficulty at work. God has been faithful to be his family’s sustainer and source of joy. Through these difficulties Matthew has been shown who he really is, which is a step towards humility. In March 2009, Matthew and Vanessa asked the Lord to do a mighty work in their hearts, helping them to shed their pride and self-love. They are remembering that God was faithful to answer that prayer by using the circumstances of late.

We have decided to continue the tradition every Thanksgiving, but recently my family decided to make the habit of remembering the Lord’s favor just that, a consistent, tangible part of our lives. We have begun the Cunningham family book of remembrance.

The idea is that throughout the year we will record what the Lord is doing on our behalf. At the end of the year we will print out the pages that have been generated throughout the year, and put them into the book of remembrance.  We are planning on also including a few pictures that are significant to the Lord’s favor in our lives. Let it be known that all provision, peace, prosperity, growth, sustenance, etc. is from the hand of the Lord Almighty, please do not let this book diminish that ever important reality. Rather let us be as Joshua, who deemed it necessary to be certain that a specific event would not be forgotten.

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