One of the first memorials was built by Samuel (2 Sam. 7:12). It was a huge stone that he named “Ebenezer” which meant, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” He built it after God had intervened in a great battle and given Israel the victory. It was to remind them of God’s mercy.
We need to erect memorials ourselves to remind us of the times when God, in His mercy, has intervened for us. In our personal experience, life has not run on an even keel since last year. There have been disappointments, trials, fears, and sufferings-yet God has been with us in them all. Our lives have been spared from death, from disease, and disaster. Every day we spend in good health is a day to thank God for His mercy.
Some of us have seen God’s mercy in our families. Has the family circle been blessed? Have we seen an increase (a little one)? Have we seen our children come to know the Lord and begin to grow in knowledge and grace? Have we had a roof over our heads, shoes on our feet, clothing to wear, and something to eat? Than let us thank God for His mercies.
Economically, it has been a bad year for thousands of people. Money has been tight, and jobs hard to find. In spite of a bad economy, some of us have prospered and we need to thank God for it. Most of us haven’t prospered, but we have held our own—and we thank God for that. Some of us have lost many of the materials things of life which we thought were riches. Now we are discovering true riches, things like God Himself, our families, our friends, and God’s provisions. One tornado victim, being interviewed by a TV reporter while standing before his home which had been turned into a trash pile, said it well. He said, “That’s just stuff. I can replace stuff. My family and I were spared and for that I am thankful!”
As a child of God, we don’t ever have to despair. We have a Father who is rich and very merciful, and He loves each and every one of us. Thank God for His mercy.