Monday, July 31, 2017

Here I Raise My Ebenezer



Over the past year, I have been going through every closet, drawer, and room to unclutter in preparation for a move. Naturally I had to touch and read everything. It was like a walk down memory lane. Everything held meaning, and I wanted to share it with my family and friends. The process became a journey of remembrance.

When I got to my volumes of journals, there was no way I could pass them by. So, I sat down and went through every one of them. The journals became my ebenezer. Ebenezer means “stone of help.” In the Old Testament stones were piled one on top of the other as a reminder to the Israelites of God’s unfailing love and mercy.

1Samuel 7:12 states, “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called it Ebenezer saying, ‘Hitherto hath the Lord helped us’.”

Opening up my journals reinforced how good God has been to me, family and friends. How His blessings have poured over us. How in the darkest hours of life God was right there ministering to us. Most of those times I did not even realize God’s intervention, often feeling alone and helpless. Looking back and remembering how I felt then and how I see the situation now establishes God’s work in my life and shapes who I am today. It readies me for the next valley, disappointment, or loss with the knowledge of a Savior that is living and active in my life. I have no fear because He has prepared me to handle life through Him.

When we moved to VA Beach in January 2017, the Praise Team at the church we are attending kept singing a song they wrote entitled, “Ebenezer”. Every time I heard it I could see that stack of journals, all those memories of God’s love.

My intrigue in the song caused me to do a little investigation. The chorus to the contemporary song, “Ebenezer”, was based off an old hymn “Come, Thou Fount Of Every Blessing” written by Robert Robinson in 1757. Even though Robinson’s life drove him from his faith many times, he managed to help others come to Christ through the words in his song. 

Remembrance is very important; it’s a fundamental principle in the gospel. Humans unfortunately have an easier time remembering all the bad things that happen verses the good. That’s why God put things on stone, i.e., the ten commandments. Another perfect example of stones of remembrance is found in Joshua 4.

“Take yourselves twelve stones from here . . . that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ Then you shall let your children know, saying, ‘Israel crossed over this Jordon on dry land . . . that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever’.”

God wants us to remember Him in awe and reverence. In the song, “Ebenezer” and “Come, Thou Fount Of Every Blessing”, we are asked to remember God’s hand in our life.

Come, Thou Fount Of Every Blessing (chorus, Robert Robinson, 1757)
Here I raise my 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,
Wand’ring from the fold of God:
He, to save my soul from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.


Ebenezer (chorus, contemporary version)
Here I raise my ebenezer,
Hither by Thine help I come,
May it remind me of every victory
That You brought me safe thus far.
All my hope, all my hope is in Your promises.
And all my joy, all my joy is in You, Jesus.

How precious is remembering God’s promises, blessings, mercy, grace, and love in our lives.

Lord Jesus, help me to remember the power of Your holy name that I can call on at any time. In Christ’s name I pray,
Angela


Sharing from my journal. This entry was after a long year: mother dying, my husband having seizures, the loss of our 17 year old dog, and my health issues.

Dear Heavenly Father,
It is good to praise You! You are my Refuge and my Rock. You keep me safe and dry in the storm. You present Yourself in the morning sunrise, and kiss the day to rest in a sunset splendor. All my concerns have been deposited in You. God, You provide the Words to keep me in tune with Your desires for me. Oh, how I love the precious name of Jesus. Oh how I rely on the still small voice of Your Spirit, Lord. Continue to keep us under Your wing. There are times when I think we are fumbling, stumbling, and staggering under the pressure we are under. It’s like a dark cloud has sat on us. Then I see the tiniest bit of light and I know that means You are coming; so, I’m waiting. You’ll be here soon. I feel it. Until then, I will continue to glorify Your holy name. Your child, Angela




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2 comments:

  1. This is lovely! I love the idea of your stack of journals as an Ebeneezer. I still have a small white rock with the word "Help" written on it. It was an object lesson from a sermon many years ago about Ebeneezers. Over the years, that little rock has sat in my kitchen window, in the ash tray (coin holder to me) of my van, and in my coat pocket to be a regular reminder each time my eyes, or hand landed on it, of God's ever-present help!

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    1. Thank you for you comments. Like you, I have several things sitting around the house that remind me of a special memory, blessing, or correction. I need these beautiful memories when times are hard. I just soak myself in God's blessings, knowing He will always take care of me. God bless you! I hope to hear from you again. And I love it when people share with me.

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