I am a beach-comber, I love picking up and collecting all sorts of shells, stones and rocks which catch my eye. They may be bright and have stood out, or they may be quirky and so catch the eye, or they may have interesting shape or texture, but for whatever reason I pick them up, put them in my pocket, carry them home and put them with the rest of my treasures which i have collected – a basket of stones, a vase of shells, an arrangement in the garden.
Or when I am on holiday, I like to take home a fridge-magnet, a souvenir of a place we have been, a reminder of how nice it was, how good it felt to be on holiday, good memories of things we had done.
So I get it, I really do when the Israelites set up stones of remembrances, when they crossed the Red Sea, when they entered the promised land, when they made covenants or promises. I get that their little pile of rocks meant something to them, they wanted to mark the occasion, they wanted to have something to remember the special occasion by, they wanted to mark their journey, they wanted to make a monument of the time God had spoken to them, or shown His power. I want to do that too! I would have little piles of rocks all over the place, this is when God did this, this is when He brought me through that.
Except the only problem is that I don’t always remember! It is so fresh in my mind at the time, and I enthusiastically mark the moment,
BUT it fades and the pile of rocks blend in with all the others and I stop seeing them.
I look at the fridge magnets everyday till I no longer see them and forget the good times.
So how can I recall the goodness of God? How can I remember what the stones of remembrances mean, what they signify, the assurance that they gave at the time?
Probably the best example is that from the Israelites – they spoke often of these things, they told, they re-told, they wrote them on their hearts, etched them on their minds, they even sang of their events! They passed their stories on, they made sure the next generation new of the faithfulness of the Lord. When they gathered together, when they had a feast, at their festivals they TOLD their stories.
Perhaps we are not telling our stories enough?
Perhaps we are too inward in keeping these experiences to ourselves instead of sharing?
Perhaps it is in the telling out that we remember and in remembering have cause to Praise?
The LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.
Perhaps we need to raise our Ebenezer and say: ‘Thus far has the Lord helped me’
Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen.
He named it Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us.’
[1 Sam 7:12]
Perhaps in order to remember, we need to share the experience in the first place?
Perhaps we need to hear one another’s stories?
What are you raising your Ebenezer to today, and how are your sharing it?