A Word from Pastor Sun Hee
“Here I Raise my Ebenezer”
“Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” is one of my mother’s most beloved hymns. I remember hearing her sing those familiar verses all the time. Verse two of the hymn goes:
“Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I’ll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.”
I often wondered about that particular word “Ebenezer” in this verse, and when I learned a while back about its meaning, I became fond of the song even more.
You can find the word, Ebenezer, in 1 Samuel 7. On the battlefield, where years ago they had suffered defeat, Israel pled with God for help and He granted them a miraculous victory. Their leader, Samuel set up a monument to remind them of God’s amazing help and saving act. Samuel named the pillar Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”(1 Samuel 7:12) This stone pillar is there to remind them of the time when God turned things around and blessed them. Each time they saw the Ebenezer stone, they remembered God’s help in the past, which help them to rely on God’s help today and to be sure of God’s help for tomorrow.
It’s important for us to do the same today. Remembering God’s help yesterday helps us to trust him for today and tomorrow. Last month, I shared with you about the “Discipline of Noticing”, a spiritual practice where you begin to see God at work all around you. In this month of gratitude and thanksgiving, I hope that we would take time to raise our Ebenezer as well.
Sometimes, it is good to have a physical Ebenezer like my small stone that I have with the words “Faith” and “Love” written on it. I have this from a women’s retreat many years ago, when I was asked to write something that I would like to leave as a legacy to Kevin. Whenever I see this, I am thankful that God is raising him in His love and I am thankful that Kevin’s faith in Him is growing each day.
Sometimes, Ebenezer can be a list of past memories where God has helped you and granted you victory and/or peace. It could also be the memories of those who taught you, showed you and led you to life with Christ. We just celebrated All Saints Sunday where we remembered such Saints in our lives. We remember how meaningful that was for each one of us. Take time to write down those times that you would like to remember. This practice enriches your life of thanksgiving.
Your Ebenezer, your memories and the list of important events can be your present-day monument to all God has done for you in the past. Your memories reveal His presence throughout your life, even when you didn’t recognize His presence at the time. I hope by raising your Ebenezer, you will be blessed with His loving presence and with strength and trust in Him now and the days ahead.
With grateful hearts,
Pastor Sun Hee