So you can come along

A girl with stories

Ebenezer December 12, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amanda Lynn @ 12:12 am

More than a Dickens character or a Christmas musical staple – it is hope.
Hope through help.

Literally…”a stone of help”.

 

“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 ::

When I was little, I used to have really bad nightmares. They were “night terrors” according to all the books that the pediatrician recommended to my parents. So, there was a lot of prayer surrounding this and a lot of late night/early morning wake-ups for my poor parents. Mom or Dad would sit with me and read scripture or pray until I was fully awake and ready to talk it out.

 

About one year into these night terrors, I was given a little stone with “peace” written on it to put in my pillowcase. Anytime I felt the small stone I would know that people were praying for me and that Jesus had “sent angels over my bed” (Dad’s words of prayer). That little stone didn’t stop the scary dreams, but what it did do was remind me of the love Jesus had for me and prayers of my parents. It was a stone of help.

 

Since then, I’ve been able to collect a few other physical stones of help along the way; one from India where He helped me in seeing that justice is a real need….

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Then, another from Tennessee after a tornado helped me to see that He is a God of details and that there is a vast difference between the eternal and the temporal….

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And one more from Namibia where the Lord opened my eyes to the reality of His presence as our Abba Father in the middle of the “orphan crisis”….

 

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These physical stones stand as monuments to His faithfulness in my life; His grace in speaking to me in my limitations. Anytime I take hold of those little stones from around the world, my heart swells. It is comforting knowing that He is the same God who was God in India, in the storm and in Namibia. He is the same, unchanging, unfaltering, unswerving God who loves and provides.

 

 

What really stands out in my list of Ebenezers aren’t the stones I can touch or feel, but those that I have remembrance of through writing. There  are countless cards and letters from precious brothers and sisters in Christ that arrived at just the right time. There are accounts of His help in journals that have been priceless in their ability to help in times when I need to remember the Lord and His faithfulness {Psalm 89}.

 

 

Other Ebenezers are in the form of living, breathing, walking around people who are pillars of faith and help in time when it is desperately needed.

 

 

These stones, these writings, these people are where the physical and the spiritual collide. Here, I’ve found that the physical and spiritual are inextricably combined. I like to imagine that their presence in my life is nothing less than divine intervention without even an atom-sized space of separation between them and that which is considered “spiritual”.

 

Separation of the daily “ordinary” and the divine makes for tedious, lifeless days.

Now, my every-day, walking around life can be infused with significance.

I’m convinced that’s why He has opens our eyes to see our many “Ebenezer”s along the way. His omnipresence and His indwelling Spirit mean that we can find Him everywhere when we’re really looking.

The “Prince of Preachers” said it so much better….

To a man who lives unto God nothing is secular, everything is sacred.
He puts on his workday garment and it is a vestment to him.
He sits down to his meal and it is a sacrament.
He goes forth to his labor, and therein exercises the office of the priesthood. His breath is incense and his life a sacrifice.
He sleeps on the bosom of God, and lives and moves in the divine presence.
To draw a hard and fast line and say, “This is sacred and this is secular,” is, to my mind, diametrically opposed to the teaching of Christ and the spirit of the gospel…
You housemaids, you cooks, you nurses, you ploughmen, you housewives, you traders, you sailors, your labor is holy if you serve the Lord Christ in it, by living unto Him as you ought to live.
The sacred has absorbed the secular.”

:: C. Spurgeon ::

 

 

So, this Advent season, I’m looking for something more than I’ve found in other Christmases.
This season will be about remembering all the Ebenezers – all the remembrances of His help, and about thanking Him for that grace. It will be about celebrating the Helper that has come to be with us.

 

“Here I raise my Ebenezer
Hither by Thy help I come
And I hope by Thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home
Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wondering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood.”

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