Frozen white blankets landmarks. Blizzard conditions veil the neighboring house in a curtain of swirling ice crystals. Even the rocks edging the garden are smoothed out of existence.
But under that frosty coverlet are stone markers. In summer they contrast with graceful, living, changing plants and flora. Many function as guides for mowing, to protect those perennials that emerge more slowly. Two or three remind me of the friend from whose ditch I rescued them.
This week’s hymn contains an unusual word. 1 Samuel 7:12 (NIV) says 12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer,[a] saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” The footnote says Ebenezer means stone of help.
Where are the “Ebenezer” markers in your life? Have you set an Ebenezer marker in your home or garden?
Do we need a “stone of help?” A visible reminder that God is at work? Something that brushes against our consciousness? An item that is somewhat out of place to remind us of God’s work in our world.
Even a small pebble, smoothed over time in one’s pocket serving as a reminder of God’s help in our lives.
And if stones seem hard and unyielding, perhaps fountains capture your thoughts. When you walk by a water fountain, think of this song and the blessings of unending grace. Use your imagination to see an Ebeneezer in your daily life. Fountains, songs, mountains, stones, flaming sunsets, whatever is around us can be an Ebeneezer.
Come, thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it, mount of thy redeeming love.
Here I raise mine Ebeneezer; hither by thy help I’m come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger, interposed his precious blood.
O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;
here’s my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.
written by Robert Robinson