Samuel took a stone . . . and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” —1 Samuel 7:12
In 1876, the Sioux leader Crazy Horse joined forces with Sitting Bull to defeat General Custer and his army at Little Bighorn. Not much later, though, starvation caused Crazy Horse to surrender to US troops. He was killed while trying to escape. Despite this sad conclusion to his life, he became a symbol of heroic leadership of a threatened people.
Today in the Black Hills of South Dakota, he is commemorated with a monument being carved into a mountain—the Crazy Horse Memorial. When complete, it will be 641 feet long and 563 feet high. It will show Crazy Horse riding a galloping horse, pointing the way to his people.
Thousands of years ago, the prophet Samuel used a much smaller memorial stone in a significant way. In the midst of a crucial battle with the Philistines, Samuel called out to God on Israel’s behalf. The Lord answered his prayer (1 Sam. 7:10). In gratitude, Samuel set up a stone “and called its name Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us’” (v.12).
Samuel has set an example for our spiritual journey. We too can use tangible reminders of God’s faithfulness to help us worship and serve Him. It’s good to remember “thus far the Lord has helped us.”
Gratitude is the memory of a glad heart.