Monday, December 02, 2013

{Gratitude}: Raising My Ebenezer

One of my favorite passages is 1 Samuel 7 {don't we all say that of so many passages, though? :) }.

But, seriously, 1 Samuel 7 is special to me.  I think what makes a verse or passage special to us is the way that it touches us at a specific time in our lives.  When God speaks to us through a trial promising we're going to make it, or when God shows us in His Word that He is good, we rarely forget the message.  It marks us.

We remember because He means for us to.  He intentionally leaves an imprint on our hearts that reveals without Him, we wouldn't be the same.

This passage shows the children of Israel in yet another battle with an old enemy - the Philistines. They try to do things their own way until they come to the conclusion none of that will work and we see them crying out to Samuel Do not cease to cry to the Lord our God for us, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines."

The realization that they won't make it through without someone diligently calling out to the Lord on their behalf falls fresh on me every single time I read it.

They {finally} again got it ... deliverance comes from the Lord alone.  And, I love that we see the body engaged in the battle .... some fighting, some praying, but all knowing Who will be the One to ultimately bring the victory.

When victory comes, Samuel raises a stone {verse 12}, names it Ebenezer and says "Thus far the Lord has helped us".

I am undone every time I read those words.  Every. Single. Time.

I have that phrase written on a stone in my home.  I never want to forget ... and yet I do.

I woke the day before Thanksgiving with a heavy heart.  While everyone else in the house slept, I felt an overwhelming need to tell God everything I wasn't thankful for at the moment.

Normally, that thought would scare me bit.  Sort of like we're not suppose to do such a thing.  But, I felt safe in doing so.  I felt no guilt and also felt like He was nudging me to just get it all out on the table so we could deal with it once and for all.

What happens when He welcomes me to confess the ugly and the hurt? He turns it all into Thanksgiving, that's what.  Which seems like some sort of trick {laughing} but it's beautiful.

So, I'm raising my Ebenezer and proclaiming that the Lord is indeed mighty, loving and good.  He has proven Himself to be so this year by ...

**  Answering Prayers - He has answered some BIG prayers for me this year! I was so focused on the situations, I didn't even notice He was answering them.  Now, I'm just tickled about it.

**  Allowing hurtful situations to come into my life - I see {now} what He was doing and although tough, He has provided a support system in my friends to encourage me.

**  Sustaining my family - We've gone through many changes over the year but we're all healthy and safe.

**  Working in my girls' hearts - What joy it is to see a child making their faith their own.  I have little words to describe how that feels.  I'm thankful I am still enough to witness and recognize it.

**  Providing abundantly for us - I don't mean material things {though we have more than we need}, but the way He steps in just in time providing an encouraging word from a friend when we're discouraged or confirmation in a sermon that puts us on another path.  He knows what we need when we need it.

**  Continued laughter in our home - Parenting can bring tears all around, but we love big and deeply and can still laugh.

I'm grateful for every part of my life - the good, the bad and the ugly.  I wouldn't trade any of it. Truly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

God is and will always be our best friend. I have to ask him repeatedly and constantly for direction and guidance. He supplies my every need and anwers prayers for me in a way that no one human could ever be able to do. I trust him to always do what is right for me and yes he will put in our paths the right people at the right time to get us through. He is an on time God. I praise him in the lowest of my low times and I give him glory for what he has done and what he is going to do. I am and will forever be a work in progress. He truly is all we need. I love you my sweet daughter,he is and will continue to use you for his kingdom. Stay strong, do what is right and let everything else just work itself out. HE is our rock.

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