Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ebenezer





"Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer, for he said, "Till now the Lord has helped us."

Back in December I sent a text message to my dear friend, Kristin. I asked her if I would always be traumatized by everything bad that happens in my life. She responded by saying, "You are in a season of recovery and in this season everything is sensitive and you are in process. This is part of your experience and effects who u are but doesn't define you. The truth is you are growing and that is a tough process. I encourage you to look back on your Ebenezers and let it lead you to worship in place of anxiety." Profound. But, what was Ebenezer?

I was actually embarrassed I didn't know who or what she meant by "Ebenezer." So, I went straight to my bible and looked up "Ebenezer." I went to 1 Samuel and read this passage. Warren Wiersbe explains in his commentary that Ebenezer means "stone of help." It was a memorial to God's helping His people from the beginning to that very day. Missionary J. Hudson Taylor had a plaque in his home that read, EBENEZER and JEHOVAH-JIREH. That means, "Thus far the Lord has helped us-The Lord will see to it." This takes care of the past and the future, so why worry about the present? God is in control! (p.165 With the Word.)

Okay dokie. Raise my Ebenezers and worship Him instead. Look how far my sweet Lord has brought me. But, the story gets even sweeter. I have been involved in an amazing study for the past 3 years called Gospel Transformation. A new girl joined our group about 3 weeks ago. So, last week I tell them about raising my Ebenezers. And this week she comes into bible study with a bag. A bag full of rocks. Not just any rocks. Rocks from Maine. Have you ever seen these rocks or felt them. Amazing. Seriously. Ridiculous. I got chills down my spine when I picked up my rock.

She then proceeded to tell us how the stones got to be smooth. By the waves crashing on the beach. Really. We were talking about sanctification. Perfect example of how the Lord prunes the good for the best. Just like with the rocks, the crashing of the waves help to make the stones smooth. Beautiful. Grateful. Humbled.

Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,
mount of thy redeeming love.

Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
hither by thy help I'm 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.

O to grace how great a debtor
daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here's my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.

2 comments:

Janet said...

(sniff)
I love you.

I think maybe I'll name the baby Ebenezer. (Or maybe not.)

patricia-cox-hatch said...

I didn't notice before that Come thou Fount mentioned Ebenezer! Probably b/c I didn't know what it meant so I sang right on through.