Shelter in Place with Joni: A 7-Day Devotional Reading Plan

Devotional

My Wheelchair Is My Ebenezer

After the Israelites defeated the Philistines, the prophet Samuel built a memorial by setting up a big stone (7:12). He named it “Ebenezer,” which means “the stone of help.” And whenever any Israelite passed that big rock, it reminded them that God was their help.

From the beginning, God has always sealed special events with some kind of physical memorial. He gave Noah a rainbow as a reminder of his covenant with humanity (Gen 9:17). He gave the Passover festival as a memorial of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt (Exod 12:17). He gave Moses the Law on two stone tablets (Exod 24:12). In the New Testament, the Lord Jesus provided us with the regular, physical reminder of his sacrifice for us through the elements of the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor 11:23-26).

We need these kinds of memorials in our present day, as well. For years now, I’ve looked at my wheelchair as my Ebenezer. It’s a visible, physical reminder; it’s my stone of remembrance to commemorate God’s grace in my life. It reminds me of how far the Lord has brought me, and everyone who sees me smile in this wheelchair knows that God is my help. Before the accident that landed me in my wheelchair, I was far from God and in real spiritual danger. But God rescued me through Christ, and now my wheelchair is a symbol of the grace that God has shown me.

What are the memorials in your life? Do you have tangible reminders of God’s ever-present help? Maybe it’s a ring, a family Bible, a pair of crutches, or some memento from your journey—these things anchor the soul. When pain or sorrow become crushing, you can look at your memorial and pray, “Oh, God, thus far you have helped me, and I have every reason to believe you will continue to help me.” Then, rest your heart on the faithfulness of God and lift your Ebenezer high—no matter what the future brings.

Prayer

God, you have been so faithful to us. Remind me of your great love and compassion in my life, and give me faith for tomorrow!