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  • Writer's pictureDavid and Marilynn Chadwick

My Ebenezer Box: Ebenezer Stones

by Marilynn Chadwick

I don’t know about you, but my faith grows when I hear stories of God’s power. And when I personally experience a miracle, my faith soars! Over the years, I’ve collected mementos of my own spiritual victories—I call them my “Ebenezer Stones.” Photos, small artifacts, scraps of paper, pages of my journal, little bits of “this and that” all point me back to times when God showed himself strong by interrupting the ordinary flow of daily life with a miracle. Any time I find something, I pause and thank God. I preserve the evidence as a reminder. Then I go back often to remember. It’s not enough to witness God’s miracles. We must remember them. No wonder the word remember occurs over 200 times in the Bible!

The Bible tells the story of how the Children of Israel came back to God after many years of wandering. After copying the evil behavior of the pagan people around them, worshiping the demon gods of their enemies—and sometimes sacrificing their own babies, they finally had enough! They were sick and tired of the consequences of their rebellion. They asked their leader, Samuel, to pray for them because they were desperate and had forgotten how to pray. First, Samuel called them together to confess their sins. Then, he challenged them to commit to following God with their whole heart. Above all, he warned them to stop their wicked worship of pagan idols. 

While Samuel was praying, their mortal enemy, the Philistines, launched a surprise attack. But instead of fighting back, the people pleaded with Samuel to keep praying. The Lord rushed to their rescue and brought fierce thunder and lightning from heaven that day. The entire Philistine army was terrified and thrown into such confusion that the Israelites defeated them and won a thrilling victory. Samuel took a large stone and placed it as a monument in their town. He named it Ebenezer (which means “the stone of help”). “This marks the place where God helped us!” He wanted them to always remember how God gave them victory and never drift from Him again (1 Samuel 7:12, MSG).

Over the years, I have collected my “Ebenezer Stones” in a special box I call my “Ebenezer Box.” Not much bigger than a shoebox, it looks like one of my grandmother’s old hat boxes. My oldest granddaughter became fascinated with the stories, so I encouraged her to start her own Ebenezer Box. I would encourage you to do the same. Create your own Ebenezer Box and begin to collect reminders of God’s work in your life. It can be a great project for your whole family!

My Ebenezer Box is full of collected treasures that remind me that God is still in the miracle business. Some of my spiritual victories have been dramatic. Others have been subtle, more like whispers. Join me over the next two weeks as I give you a glimpse into my Ebenezer Box. I pray these stories stir your faith and inspire you!

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