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STONES OF HELP AND HOPE

He has caused His wonders to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and compassionate (Psalm 111:4).

Most of us associate Ebenezer with the main character in Charles Dickens’ 1843 novel,  A Christmas Carol.  As the main character in this vintage tale, Ebenezer Scrooge is the greedy old tyrant who despises Christmas and anyone who dares to celebrate this joyful occasion. We know him best for the famous catchphrase, “Bah humbug.” 

Others may recognize the term Ebenezer from Robert Robinson’s classic hymn, “Come Thou Fount.” Spend some time in the first book of Samuel, and you’ll find it mentioned there as well. 

In the Old Testament the Hebrew word Ezer is a strong word meaning “helper”, and is often used of God Himself. This is where we get  Ebenezer, meaning “stone of help.”

In 1 Samuel chapters 4 and 5, Ebenezer is referred to as a particular place. 

It was named this after the Israelites defeated the Philistines, who had twice defeated them and stolen the Ark of the Covenant. After the Israelites finally conquered their enemies and regained the Ark, we read in chapter 7 that Samuel took a stone at this site and set up a memorial unto God. 

Simply put, Ebenezer’s are memorials of God’s intimate involvement with us.

They serve as visual reminders of God’s faithfulness in the past, certainty for the present, and hope for the future.

     Ebenezer's represent the Lord’s Presence

     and act as markers of our history

     with Him.

For instance, whenever I see a balloon, I am reminded of our daughter’s past struggles and how she escaped the clutches of darkness. To this day, random balloons pop up here and there, reminding her of God’s love and help in that season so long ago. Whenever she and I see one, we know it was put there strategically by the One Who delivered her from fear and anxiety, and we praise Him for His deliverance. 

Ebenezer’s are fashioned uniquely to each person and their walk with Christ. 

 I’m often asked, “how do I find my Ebenezer?’’ 

The answer is simple, ask the Lord to reveal it to you. Ask, seek and knock… He longs for us to know him and He enjoys our company. 

The LORD waits expectantly and longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who long for Him since He will never fail them (Isaiah 30:18). 

Discovering our Ebenezer is an adventure.

I believe that when we pray specifically,

God answers specifically. 

Do you believe the Lord has a fun side and that

He enjoys seeing His children laugh? 

For those of us that are parents, this is a no-brainer.

We all enjoy our kiddos laughter and seeing them smile,

how much more this must please our Heavenly Father! 

I also believe it’s okay to ask Him for a sign of His goodness.  

Ask the LORD your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights (Isaiah 7:11).

I have laughed, I have cried, and I have celebrated with the discovery of each of my Ebenezer’s. Yes, I have more than one. There is no limit to what the Lord can reveal and accomplish through His Ebenezer for you.

Ebenezer's lighten our load.

 

I simply love to laugh and laugh out loud; who doesn't like a good belly laugh? 

I am convinced God created us to enjoy life with Him. After all, He is the creator of all things good; smiles and laughter are at the top of the “good things” list. 

 

Grace-filled traces of God are often in precarious places…   

 

Have you ever felt the hands of the Lord gently cup your face to turn you to see something

you would have otherwise missed? Countless times He has done this with my

Ebenezer’s. I stand back, awe-struck at His majesty and moved to worship Him. 

Perhaps you already have some sort of

memory device that represents God’s Presence

and hope; something that reminds you

of His eternal love.

  

If not, I challenge you to ask Him. He delights in our asking and His answer is our delight.

 

As believers, we share an overall Ebenezer that symbolizes God’s love, hope, and mighty deliverance; every time we see the cross we are reminded…

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