Ebenezer

I’ve been thinking about the LORD’s faithfulness a lot lately. When things are going smoothly, I don’t typically spend as much time thinking about some of the characteristics of my Holy God. But, when something happens that is not the way I would’ve planned it, I know I need to take some time to remember His past faithfulness during difficult times.

Some friends and I were recently talking about this very thing and one of them mentioned the word Ebenezer. We read about Ebenezer in 1 Samuel, chapter 7, when the Israelites defeated the Philistines in a decisive battle.

“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 (NIV)

One of my friends shared that she had been going through a time of not “feeling” connected to the LORD. She knows that her feelings can’t be trusted though, and that the LORD is right there with her. We spoke about how important it is to recall how God has come through for us in the past. We know that He is the same God yesterday, today and tomorrow. And, since He’s come to our rescue before, He’s going to help us again.

The calendar flipped to 2018 and with that came a chance for me to really think about how faithful God has been to me.  I recently learned that that the company I work for is dissolving. I’ve had an amazing job for MANY years and had hoped to never work anywhere but for this firm, in this position. Two weeks before getting “the” call that my job had ended, the LORD brought me a scripture twice in a week that I’d never really paid any attention to. It’s Psalm 112:7 (NIV):

"They will have no fear of bad news: their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD."

I feel like He was preparing me for this. I can and will trust Him, because He is faithful and has never failed me yet.  It’s helping knowing that the LORD is sovereign over this situation. I believe with my whole heart that He will provide an amazing job for me.

I’m praying, and dear friends are praying too. I’m remembering that “thus far the LORD has helped me.” It’s bringing comfort and hope to think back on ways He’s brought beauty from ashes in the past. Even as I type those words, I’m thinking of more and more times He has provided and protected my family and me. It’s who He is and it's what He does.

Recently I ran into a friend in the grocery store. I’d been praying for a baby for her because she’d been struggling with infertility. Several months ago, the LORD brought her a baby, a little boy who needed a forever family. When we met in the meat department, her little son was sitting in the cart and she proudly introduced him to me. She spoke of God’s faithfulness and needing to remember it. She, too, mentioned that same word -  Ebenezer!  Then, she said that one day she wouldn’t remember how God has provided for her as clearly as she does now.

I get that.

New challenges and joys come along and we get swept up in another season of life. But, when those difficult times come, it’s amazing to be able to recall His past faithfulness. Even when I can’t see anything happening, I know that He is indeed divinely orchestrating the outcome. I’ve been trying to remember to thank Him for this challenge and for the opportunity to bring glory to Him through this circumstance.  I need to realize, too, that He has a plan and that He is a God of perfect timing. And, to that, I raise my Ebenezer.