“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us.’” 1 Samuel 7:12
Samuel took this stone and set it up as a memorial because of the way the Lord had helped the Israelites win a battle with the Philistines. If you have ever heard the hymn Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing then you’ve surely heard the line that says “Here I raise my Ebenezer”. For years I didn’t really know what that line meant, but it comes from this verse in 1 Samuel. The word Ebenezer means “stone of help” so Samuel set this stone up and named it Ebenezer so that the Israelites would have something to look upon to remember how God had helped them in battle to defeat the Philistines.
Well for the past couple of years we have been in a battle with this unseen virus that is attacking us from all sides. And just when we think maybe it is subsiding, I will know someone else who has it and is battling it. We are also battling things these days like inflation, our gas and grocery prices are getting higher and higher. There are times that it is hard to get goods and services that we normally could just go down to our local Wal-Mart and pick up. Never in my life did I think we would ever see a shortage of baby formula. Things are just plain crazy.
But when we raise our Ebenezer, we want to look at the ways the Lord has helped us thus far. I think sometimes reflection can be good. Especially when you don’t feel like you are making much progress. It is good to look back and see how far you have come. You see when you are in the middle of the baby steps it is so hard to see the progress. But when you look back and see how far you have come it somehow will help spur you to go a little farther on. I think looking back over the last couple of years helps me to not take for granted the things that I did before, like going to church. When our churches were shut down and we were worshipping from our living rooms I missed fellowship. Now, I am so grateful to walk through the doors of my fellowship every Sunday. I don’t HAVE to go to church on Sunday, I GET to go to church on Sunday.
As I think back over the last couple of years, they have been hard years but I want to say that as I raise my Ebenezer, I am closer to the Lord than I have ever been. He has helped me thus far by meeting with me daily. He has become my constant companion. Oh I know He was there all along and I have had a daily quiet time for many years but I can tell you that some of the isolation that I felt during Covid fostered a more intimate, more personal, more steadfast relationship with my Savior. I know Him better, I trust Him even more than I did before. I love Him more and I am grateful for His ever present constant companionship.
So how about it? What’s your Ebenezer? How has the Lord helped you in this Corona-battle thus far? Or whatever battle you have been facing? Maybe you have been going through a personal battle that is just between you and God? Maybe it’s a marriage that has fallen apart? Maybe it’s rebuilding your life after a financial breakdown or a rehabilitation? Maybe it’s loss of a loved one or a diagnosis? Go ahead, look back, reflect a little, raise an Ebenezer, to look at and remember how the Lord has helped you thus far! I think it will encourage you to take the next steps!