Raise my Ebenezer... my what?

Christmas is coming ... 65 days from today to be exact.  I mentioned Ebenezer at a Bible study this week, and my friend asked with concern... Scrooge is in the Bible???  Well, not exactly.  She accepted Jesus as her Savior just a couple of months ago and hadn't yet hung out much in the Old Testament... she is learning every day!

Do you have one?  An official ebenezer?  When our family experienced the most challenging time of our lives, Frank was struggling with chronic back pain... there seemed to be no solution and no option to "manage" his pain.  Along with physical pain, there were numerous other painful factors... a seeming insurmountable loss of a place and ability to work, a place for our family to live, a place of identity, a place of financial rest... you understand.  We have all faced painful factors, haven't we?

Our "place to live" journey became clearly and totally dependent on God's provision and direction.  We could never have imagined how HE would offer to lead us - only God would provide for us to move 7 times in 3 1/2 years.  That is still unimaginable... in human terms.  I often lean to Isaiah 55 - "'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the Lord."

We knew He was directing... because the thoughts certainly weren't ours... and didn't make any sense in my thoughts.  Thus, creating one of my Ebenezers.

1 Samuel 7 is where you find the story.  I'll condense it a bit.  (I know many of you are giggling right out loud at the thought of me "condensing"  anything with words!?

So, our Israelites had gathered with fear.  The mighty Philistines were upon them.  Samuel prayed earnestly for the Lord to intervene.. and HE did.  The NIV Bible says, "But that day the LORD thundered loudly against the Philistines."  So the battle was won, and Samuel (and the Israelites) knew Who was responsible.

 Then Samuel got a big stone. He set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer. He said, “The Lord has helped us every step of the way.”

Samuel asked the Lord for help, the Lord helped, Samuel thanked the Lord and set a BIG stone... to remember HIS help.

So, at the end of our 3 1/2 year journey through seven houses, we needed a "stone" for which to remember and acknowledge the Lord's help... every step of the way.  My stone hangs on my wall, it is a big stone... I need "big" reminders... It measures about 4' by 5' and hangs in a conspicuous place in our home.  A picture of each house and the verse that God reminded me with over and over again. 

 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.  Ephesians 3:20-21

I have other Ebenezers - one is a stone with a date written on it... a date I hold to as a specific answer to a question that I needed to be answered - that one wasn't what I planned... most of them aren't ... in my experience.  One is a very small silver bell - reminding me of a specific time and direction from the Lord.

What about you?  The Lord helps us every day... no doubt, but I believe we need those tangible reminders, don't you?  Many of us love the song, "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing", that speaks of raising our Ebenezer.  Chris Rice sings a gentle version of this hymn, 

Take a listen and thank Him for helping you thus far.  If you don't have one in place, would you consider what that physical reminder of your Ebenezer might look like?  

Would you share it with me... I would love to praise Him with you through your Ebenezer.  HE is worthy of all praise, glory and honor!!  And then, we have the privilege of sharing with others what a Great God we serve.  He is trustworthy... always!


 Thank you Father, 
"This marks the place where YOU helped us.” (The Message)

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