“Here I raise my Ebenezer, hither by thy help I’ve come. And I hope by thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home.” Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, Robert Robinson
Have you ever sung the song above, and wondered “What on earth is an Ebenezer?” Well, the word Ebenezer means “Stone of Help” in Hebrew. It comes from 1 Samuel 7:12, “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us.'” An Ebenezer is a monument made of stone(s) “to signify the great help that God granted the one raised the stone.” It is a way for people to “acknowledge God’s bountiful blessings and help in their lives.”
When we lived in China from 2007-2009, our director often encouraged us to share the ways in which we had seen God’s help in our lives. He actually had a real pile of stones in his backyard from all his travels, and each stone had a story. I preferred writing my stories to share with others. It is a practice that I continue to this day. When I am feeling discouraged, I try to remember to raise my Ebenezer. I hope that you will find inspiration in these five short stories of God’s help from these last 8 months. If you have never done so, I encourage you to raise your Ebenezer, and remember how God has helped you!
December 4, 2014– Having loved ones on both coasts always makes it difficult to say goodbye. Yesterday, as we walked out of the Sacramento International Airport terminal, the rain stopped, the clouds parted, and a breath-taking double rainbow appeared from one end of the sky to the other. God blessed us with a gorgeous welcome home banner, and the reassurance of his everlasting covenant with us! (Genesis 9:8-17)
On April 28, 2015 I remarked to Brad that I was hoping not to purchase any more groceries during the month of April because we had reached the end of our “Grocery Envelope” for the month. He was hoping for some snack foods at that moment, particularly a bowl of popcorn. On April 29, a friend stopped by the house and unexpectedly handed us two large bags of groceries. We had to laugh when we looked inside and saw two packages of Jiffy Pop Popcorn. God obviously has a sense of humor!
May 19, 2015– Our dryer stopped working more than a month ago. We paid a $50 diagnostic fee to a repairman who told us that it would cost another $150 to repair it. We have been trying to decide whether to repair the dryer, get a new one, or do without it. Tonight some friends were discussing washers and dryers, and one husband asked the group, “Does anyone want a dryer?” I said, “I do!” It had been sitting in their yard for a week. He and his wife brought it over to our house immediately afterward. God is so good.
June 22, 2015– Our city has a population of 65,000 people. We’re so thankful for the young couple who found Brad’s wallet and its contents in the middle of the road, where they’d been run over by traffic, and then returned them to us immediately. Thank God for Good Samaritans!
July 18, 2015– Today we received a bill in the mail for $197.00 from a simple medical examination for Oliver (we hadn’t reached our deductible yet for 2015). In the same mail we also received a check for $152.70 from the State of Maryland Treasurer’s Office. I filled out a form to claim our Unclaimed Property (from our Homeowner’s Insurance Policy in Maryland) a couple months ago. So the bill, and the means to pay it, came in the mail the same day. God’s timing is perfect.
How has God been your “Stone of Help”? How has He helped you?