I was poking through the Old Testament this week when I came upon a verse I hadn't thought of in a while:
"Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Jeshanah, and named it Ebenezer; for he said, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us.’ " - 1 Samuel 7:1
The only reason I'd ever thought about that verse at all is that it's referenced in one of my favorite hymns. In the version I know of "Come, Thou Font of Many Blessings," we sing, "Here I raise my Ebenezer, hither by Thy help I've come." I learned in college that an Ebenezer was a monument to God's help, and the definition stuck with me. (Mr. M once told me that a parishioner leaned over to him one Sunday as I was setting the altar for communion and asked if I knew all the hymns by heart. No, not all of them, but definitely that one.)
So, anyway, I stumbled upon my old friend Ebenezer and sat with him a while. Thought about having gotten here by God's help.
Here with vocation.
Here with family.
Here with friendships.
Here with my husband.
Here with God's own self.
Sometimes "here" stinks on ice, and other times "here" looks awfully good, but either way, I've come this far with God's help. And when I'm reminded of that, I can see it. I can't see all of it, I'm sure, but enough to be steeped in gratitude. I have inklings of where I might be without some extraordinary interventions-- friends, mentors and advisors who have cared for and guided me, in particular-- and I'm overwhelmed.
How about you? Any gratitude I can share in with you? Any need I can pray for?
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