I’ve been noodling today on Ebenezers. And no, I don’t mean Ebenezer Scrooge.
Even as I sit down to write this I have music playing in the background and suddenly “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” is serenading me and I ponder the power of Ebenezers.
It’s only been in recent years that I learned what an Ebenezer is. It’s such a strange sounding word really. It’s also, as we know from Scrooge, a man’s name. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone named Ebenezer though. Have you? It must be one of those names that has gone out of style (kind of like Gertrude—there aren’t many of us around these days!).
The more I sit here and noodle on it though, I think I kind of like the name Ebenezer.
Ebenezer comes from the Hebrew language and means “stone of help”. I would imagine it would have been a wonderful name choice for parents who wanted to raise a son who would be both strong and kind. Ebenezer is certainly a name to grow into and live up too.
According to Wikipedia, the Hebrew version is actually “Eben-Ezer”, which does seem more fitting with biblical terminology than Ebenezer (probably because I just can’t help associating the name with Scrooge).
The biblical Eben-Ezer was literally a “stone of help”…help in remembering the faithfulness of God.
I’ve realized as I’ve traveled through life just how quickly I forget the blessings and the miraculous things that happen in my life. I call it spiritual amnesia.
When I learned that an Ebenezer is a memorial or a marker to remind us of God’s faithfulness, I began to realize that I actually have raised many Eben-Ezers over the years, often without any real intention to do so.
One of my Eben-Ezers is my Sally Brown mug, a gift from a dear friend that reminds of a time when I forgot to be thankful and I used my best Sally Brown attitude on God, “I just want my fair share. I just want what is coming to me.” (I wrote about that in a previous blog post if you are interested.)
Sally and I had coffee together this morning. I think that’s what set my heart and my mind to noodling on Eben-Ezers today.
I’ve always had a love for rocks. I am always carrying them home with me. Once, when visiting my brother and his family in South Carolina, he found a rock for me. It’s so big that it took both my brother and my darling husband to load it into the trunk of our car so I could bring it home to Illinois. (I told you my darling husband loves me!)
So it’s really no surprise that I built another Eben-Ezer with a large pile of rocks on my front porch. Seeing them there as I entered our home, they constantly reminded me of God’s overwhelming grace and His faithfulness to my family after a season of struggling. They stayed there for several years. Eventually, the pile worked its way off of the porch and into my flower beds where they were originally intended to be. But I still can’t help smiling and remembering when I see those rocks surrounded by flowers. It’s really a beautiful picture of God turning our struggles into things of beauty.
When I was doing a little research on Ebenezers I came across someone else’s blog post that points out that even my blog is an Eben-Ezer.
Every time I begin to put my thoughts on paper (or a computer screen), here or in a journal, I am quickly reminded of God’s faithfulness to me, time and time again, over the years. I’ve learned that when I am struggling in life one of the best things I can do is sit down with old journals and spend some time reading through them. I never cease to be amazed at how far I come, how much I’ve changed (or sometimes how much I haven’t changed 😳), and how many prayers God has answers along the way. Often I forget about things I’ve struggled with and prayers I’ve prayed until I read back through my journals and realize that God was faithful to answer, sometimes even after I had given up praying.
He is always faithful, even when I am not.
Thanksgiving 2020 is only a couple days away. I’ve been a little hit-and-miss with my daily thankful posts on social media this year. Nevertheless, I find myself abundantly, and really overwhelmingly thankful today.
Most of all, I am thankful for friends and family and the relationships in my life that are growing deeper and more meaningful.
I am grateful and deeply blessed as I watch my darling husband pour his heart into growing in his faith and into his service to others. He has always had a servant’s heart. I think he got it from his dad. But it has been a wondrous thing to watch it grow in him this year.
As God once pointed out to me, I have everything I need. I also have most of what I want. To say I am beyond thankful doesn’t really seem like enough. But truly I am feeling so deeply grateful that it is really difficult to explain.
I pray that you are also counting your blessings in this season of thankfulness.
I am thankful for YOU! I am thankful that you’ve stopped in here and taken the time to hear my heart and noodle along with me. If I’ve encouraged you, inspired you, made you laugh or even made you roll your eyes, I’d be honored and thrilled if you’d share my blog with your family and friends on your social media accounts.
AND don’t forget to leave a comment below and tell me what you are most thankful for this season!