Stones of Memorial – Ebenezer

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March 23, today is Bev’s (my late wife) birthday. She would have been 64 today, but now she is ageless, an eternal being of unimaginable splendor.  Last night, I paged through pictures – our wedding, her with our kids and grandkids, scenes from the life we enjoyed together. Each one brought up a memory – some happy, some sad, some wistful.  I spent some time at my Ebenezers. (What? Read on)

I’ll stand at her grave later today knowing full well that her body is decaying, but that she is, not was; that in a way that I cannot fully understand she is present with the Lord she served and loved. And, I will bring to mind the promise that Jesus gave us – “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.” (John 11:25)

The loss is hard, grief real. I am not without hope nor do I consider myself ‘abandoned’ by God.  I am convinced that “The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord. He delights in every detail of their lives.” (Psalm 37:23, NLT)  I have no idea why He allowed Bev to be taken so soon but I walk in faith. I remember her, yes!

The four decades of life are full of “Ebenezers,”  places where we knew God, in the good and bad, the wonderful and the awful -as the Faithful One.  Ebenezer comes from this passage –  “Samuel then 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, NLT)

Are you in a time of victory and celebration?  Make a memorial so you will remember!  Are you living through frustrating situations, stressed by multiple problems for which there are no ready solutions?  Visit an Ebenezer!  (I am not just encouraged by my own experiences. I love to read of the faithfulness of the Lord in other’s lives, too.)

In preacher Malachi’s word, we read about God’s people receiving a harsh rebuke and their response was to turn to God and to remember. “Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name.” (Malachi 3:16, NIV)

Even if we cannot see past our present hardship, even if Heaven seems far away, there is a choice that we make, supported by the Ebenezers we have built along the way – Obedient surrender. We hold onto the promise that here or perhaps in Heaven, His ‘delight in every detail of our lives,’  will become evident.  And, as understanding comes, faith will become sight!

Here is a word from the Word – ” I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:3-6, NIV)

_____________

Here I raise mine 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 rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood

From the hymn, Come, Thou Fount of Ev’ry Blessing

 

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