“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
Happy New Year’s Eve! As we prepare to wrap up 2016 and welcome in 2017, I wanted to share a few thoughts about “Ebenezer.”
December was a challenging month for us, and for several of our loved ones. From large unexpected expenses to school challenges to the rapid decline of the health of one of our dear parents, we were feeling very stretched. Additionally, several close friends were struggling with job losses and medical issues.
For some time, we had planned a family vacation to use a timeshare in Nashville for the week before Christmas, but we were really questioning if it was wise to still go. After praying together and conferring with a few friends, we decided to at least go for the first part. Since the place had a kitchen, our primary expenses would mostly be gas and groceries…
I am so glad we went! It was a time of refreshing and regrouping for all of us, and on our first morning there, we decided to drive to Franklin, Tennessee, to visit Journey Church. Because we all enjoy the music of “All Sons & Daughters” (a Christian duo) and they are based in that church (along with their pastor who has toured with them a few times in our local area), it seemed like a good place to try out.
The worship was uplifting, and the sermon was great. Pastor Jamie George taught about Charles Dickens’ Ebenezer Scrooge from “A Christmas Carol” and reflecting on one’s own life — actually “reflecting on the goodness of God.” As I sat there thinking about how faithful God has been to me and to so many of my loved ones, I was hugely encouraged.
Although we all undoubtedly will face trials of many kinds — some that even seem insurmountable — God has promised to be with us. That’s the whole premise of this blog: that we REMEMBER His goodness (and remember others), CELEBRATE His goodness (and also celebrate others), and TRUST Him for our tomorrows.
As we prepare to ring in the New Year and maybe also set some resolutions, here’s a takeaway from Pastor Jamie that I plan to reflect on and, hopefully, also make some lists:
“What is your Ebenezer? How has the Lord been your help?”
We all have much for which to be grateful. Let’s remember!
May the Lord bless you and keep you, and may 2017 be your best year yet!
Remember. Celebrate. Trust.
P.S. The mug pictured below was a Christmas gift from one of my kids. It “morphs” from all black to a beautiful picture with the words “Remember, Celebrate, Trust” when hot liquid is added. Love the idea of going from darkness to light as we TRUST!