Sunday, May 5, 2013

Ebenezer

Friday was Random Journal Day, but I'm late to the party because I spent the weekend here:

Relaxing at our Family cabin and its 11 acres on Whidbey Island. My cousin, who lives up there, has it groomed to perfection right now, and with everything blooming it's like a private, enchanted garden. Sorry I didn't take pictures down at the bluff (forgot my camera) where the views (and his work) is so breath-taking that SK wants to get married there someday. But I have plenty of other photos in the expansive land by the cabin, so here are a few more for you who aren't my FB friends (sorry for the redundancy for those of you who are!).




Ok, now to the task at hand--dipping into one of my journals. 

Oddly, I flipped my 'Spring 2008' journal open to May 6, five years ago tomorrow. As was usual in those days, I was concerned with my mother.  It was a daily thing, those conversations, and often as well, a cause for daily reflection, daily wrestling, daily working through, daily coming to peace with her, not as a woman with dementia, but as the woman she'd been--my mother. 
But I've written of this before.

So it's the first paragraph of this journal entry that I want to re-share here. There is no context for my words because I don't write them in the journal either. How often I've done this in my life--just started in, knowing that I understood why and what I was talking about, not thinking about the future me who'd read and wonder. And perhaps share these words.
The entry simply starts like this:

Tuesday, May 6

The Ebenezer stone of 1 Samuel 7: 12--"Thus far the Lord has helped us."
There's a large stone at the northwest corner of our front yard. In fact, it's the cornerstone now for the flagstone patio and rock wall sitting on it. Covered with moss and plants, it's no longer as prominent or visible as it used to be, but it hasn't moved. It's still solidly holding up the wall. In a way, in truth, it's our Ebenezer. "Thus far, the Lord has helped us." There is strong, weighty evidence of His presence every step along our way. We didn't erect that monument, but when the rest of the yard was being demolished, we were clear about making that rock the cornerstone. Ok, to be realistic, how could it be moved? Really. We're not talked about a stone in a shoe here, but a massive rock! Thank God. A massive rock. That's the Ebenezer. That's the rock on which we build this place. Nothing flimsy that might crumble in the wind. Storms of life won't do anything to this rock, this Ebenezer of God's faithfulness. 

And that's the thing about Ebenezers: they point backwards, reminding us of God's faithfulness. They stand firmly in the presence so we also see that faithfulness in the very midst of whatever we're doing today--good, bad or ugly--that's their job. To stand today.  But they also point us to our right future. They're the foundation for what we shall do tomorrow.  As solid as rocks are, as Ebenezers, as the Cornerstone we build our lives on, they aren't inactive. They work. They stand, They hold us up, they remind us of God's faithfulness, they point us toward Him.

Thus Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shem. He named it Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far the Lord has helped us."

3 comments:

Dawn Paoletta said...

Oh I LOVE this. Course now I need to go re-read the whole chapter in Samuel anew...! 1 and 2 Samuel are some of my fave books of the Bible...and stones and God well hey. Need to revisit. And you can be late anytime especially if you are relaxing with family! Your words bless!!! I always appreciate your insights as well, my dear!

Pamela M. Steiner said...

I love the solid rock on which we stand...what a beautiful picture of the solid rock of your faith, no matter what.

Your family cabin looks so pleasant. I am happy you had a wonderful relaxing time there. I worried about this when Whidbey Island was in the news last month. I guess your place wasn't hear the landslide. I prayed for you and the cabin then, and when you never said anything, I trusted all was well. Blessings to you today, my friend.

jeskmom said...

Our family cabin is at the southern end of the island--not close to where the massive land slide was. However, our bluff has suffered many huge slides over the years. Fortunately, our cabin is about 9 acres back from the bluff, so we aren't in any danger of losing it. Just losing our beautiful native trees (and, of course, the trails we cut out of the side of the cliff down to the water!).