I fiddled with the red ear buds, twisting them this way and that to hear the melody of the song playing on my iPhone. The ear buds had been a “gift” from a transatlantic flight on Virgin Atlantic so I couldn’t complain about the quality. Finally they settled in, and I settled down, pressing “shuffle” (I like being surprised by music!). I closed my eyes happily as the second song began to play to the rhythm of the train and one of my favorite hymns filled the train, although only I could hear. The hymn was “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”. Perfect for a Friday. And as I never fail to do with this song, I started thinking about an Ebenezer. What it was and why I needed to raise mine.
There are many unfamiliar with the term so an explanation is in order. There is a prophet in the Old Testament called Samuel. He was a miracle baby, born to a woman named Hannah who anguished to the core of her being as she cried out to God for this baby to be conceived. And Hannah tangibly did what most moms find so difficult to do – she gave her baby Samuel to God.
Samuel went on to accomplish some amazing things through God, and for God. At one point, he places a large stone along the journey. I don’t know how large the stone was, but it must have been significant because it was worthy of a name – the name Ebenezer, “the stone of help.” He did this because he had seen God’s help along the journey and wanted to acknowledge this in a concrete way.The song reflects this as it says “Here I raise mine Ebenezer, hither by thy help I’ve come. And I hope by thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home.”
Truth be told, all week I’ve been thinking about an Ebenezer. I found a blog post called “What is an Ebenezer?” written by a new reader, Debby. From her blog, called “Living in Graceland”, I found that Debby works with people who have “lost their way in life”. She knows grace. She sees it by the minute. But Debby, and those she serves, also know help. They know that you’ve got to raise an Ebenezer and proclaim that help, it’s the only way to get back on track.
So today is Friday, the end of the Western work week, and I want to raise my Ebenezer. My Ebenezer; my help; the help of physical strength and finding words to communicate well when I felt I had nothing to give and a room full of people who wanted something. It’s a Friday and today I raise my Ebenezer.
What about you? What is your Ebenezer from this past week? Where did you find help from something or someone beyond your own ability? Let’s raise our Ebenezer in the comment section.
“Samuel took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer—”the stone of help”—for he said, “Up to this point the Lord has helped us!” —1 Samuel 7:12″
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.