Summer 2018

Here I Raise My Ebenezer

Here I raise my Ebenezer

Hither by Thy help I’ve come

And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,

Safely to arrive at home

Jesus sought me when a stranger

Wandering from the fold of God

He, to rescue me from danger,

Interposed His precious blood

When I was in seventh grade and joined my youth group’s student leadership team, my youth pastor gave me a copy of Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris as a reading assignment. While my youth pastor gave our team several months to read the book, I devoured it the first week. This book revolutionized the way I viewed the teen years, giving me confidence that God could use me and other young people for big things and inspiring me to rebel against the low expectations imposed on me by society.

Several years later, when my youth pastor was preparing to move to another state, he asked to see my copy of Do Hard Things. He wrote a note inside the cover telling me how proud he was of the growth I had experienced during his time at our church and acknowledged how God had used this book to bring about transformation in my life.

For the rest of my life, I will be able to look back at that book and be reminded of God’s work early in my life that will impact me for decades to come.

During my journey of being diagnosed with anxiety disorders and trying to find solutions through counseling and medications, I clung to Psalm 42 when I was down or discouraged. One year, a friend of mine stenciled Psalm 42:5 on a canvas and gave it to me for my birthday. I see this work of art as a symbol of how God brought me through that dark time.

The word Ebenezer from the Bible means “stone of help.” The prophet Samuel uses it when he sets up a stone as a monument to the way God had helped the Israelites defeat their enemies (see 1 Samuel 7).

What serves as an “Ebenezer” in your life? What do you keep that reminds you of what God has done in your life? Maybe it’s an encouraging note from a friend that gave you hope during a dark time. Maybe you underlined a verse in your Bible that you hung on to during your parents’ divorce. Maybe you have a photo of yourself in the place where you accepted God’s gift of salvation.

I enjoy making digital photo books with pictures and stories from mission trips. I’m currently working on cutting out meaningful notes from the high school graduation cards my family and friends gave me and putting them in a “Class of 2018” photo album. I have a notebook where I record defining moments in my life, along with books, songs, and people that impact me.

What are some creative ways you’ve found to remember what God has done for you? Let me know in the comments!