A Thanksgiving Marker for the Next Stage of the Journey
by Peter Horrobin
There are times in life when questions and uncertainties seem to overwhelm the answers and certainties of the Christian walk. Times when confusion seems to trump clarity of thinking, and darkness rather than light envelops the journey ahead.
Samuel set up this ‘Ebenezer stone’, with two objectives – one to remind the people of his day how God had given them great victories and led them on their journey thus far. And also, no doubt, to cause the next generations to ask questions about what it means, so that they will learn lessons for the future from the experiences of the past. Telling stories of God’s intervention and blessings in the past is a sure way to lift the spirits and build faith in the generations yet to come, for their future walk with God.
I last spoke on this scripture at the 25th Anniversary of the Pierrepont Centre. There was so much to look back on, with great thanksgiving, and yet so much more to anticipate in faith for the journey ahead. To this day there is a large and very meaningful stone, standing in the Great Hall at Pierrepont, painted on by David Cross with the single word – Ebenezer!
I don’t actually have an Ebenezer stone at home to remind me of times in the past when the Lord has led and directed my steps. But I can look at the stories of what God has done across the years in Ellel Ministries, that are recorded in the book, Strands of Destiny - that is the equivalent of my personal Ebenezer stone. I learnt so much as a child from the stories my Dad told me of how God had helped him. They gave me a hunger for discovering for myself the faithfulness of God in the adventures of life.
Stories of the past give hope and build faith for the future. Much of the Bible is a living Ebenezer stone telling of the ways of God in Hs relationship with His people. Lessons that we ignore at our peril. From the Scriptures, we can learn as much from the mistakes people made and their consequences, as from the stories of great victories following obedience to God and His word.
If you are struggling right now with seemingly unsolvable problems, take time to look at the past and raise your personal Ebenezer stone, by remembering all that God has done and then take fresh hope for the future, knowing that He is sufficient for every need.
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