Friday, April 10, 2009

Thus Far

"Samuel then took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer (which means 'the stone of help'), for he said, 'Up to this point the LORD has helped us!'". 1 Samuel 7:12

Ebenezers. Tangible objects. Reminders of God's help and faithfulness. God's presence. A scared moment recalled. God's mercies are everlasting and His covenant is forever. A battle has been fought and a victory has been won. A monumental stone is erected.

I like the way the New International Version expresses it...'Thus far has the Lord helped us." Thus far. Up until this exact second.

In the treasured hymn, "Come Thou Fount of Every blessing", we sing, "Here I raise my Ebenezer, Hither by Thy help I've come". this this this circumstance...surrounded by pain...I raise my Ebenezer. I remember God's past blessing of help and it strengthens me for this trial and the next. God who is the same yesterday, today and forever cannot change. He still creates moments for Ebenezers.

As I think on this stone of victory, today my mind wanders to another stone. A stone that could not contain my Savior. A rock secured in front of a tomb. A burial place. A life enclosed...dead.

It is possible that life can offer such a burial chamber. Though alive, you need grave clothes removed and a stone lifted. Christ's stone was guarded, and maybe your's is too. Guarded by shame, insecurity, fear, hopelessness, disappointment, pain etc... You feel all that is left are remains, but God sees resurrection. He can raise your life from a living dead. He can deliver you. No longer will you be held in bondage and captive to Satan. Chains that bind you in health, finances, relationship, marriage, unemployment, worry, disappointment, fear can be removed. Our God still moves stones. Hallelujah!!

Thus far the Lord has helped us. My stone will move. Your stone will move. Darkness will depart. The Son is coming.

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elaine @ peace for the journey said...

It is our "thus far"'s that will walk us home friend. Today, I'm raising my stone of remembrance and speaking my "thus far" alongside you.

Always been one of my favorite phrases from the Bible.

Joy and peace to my friend this day~elaine

Shine! said...

Joy, how interesting that both you and I have been directed to the symbol of a "stone" to gain encouragement .. you to the "stone of remembrance" and the stone that could not hold our Saviour in 1 Samuel 7, and me to the "stone of defeat" a few chapters over in 1 Samuel 17. Interesting too that the size of the stones - yours large, mine small - both are effective and purposeful in the hands of the Master!!! Rejoicing with you as God renews our hope!!! And the Victory is trusting Him for one more day!

On Purpose said...

As you journey Joy you are sharing such a beautiful message of a Jesus who truly is everything!

Happy Easter my friend!

Sheryl said...

I like that too. There's a tree in our neighborhood. My husband was driving down the road and someone came over into his lane and he had to swerve to miss them and he hit that tree.

I came up on the accident right after it happened. I'm sure you know my reaction. My dh could have been killed. But, God protected him.

Anyway, now as I drive by that tree I think THUS FAR THE LORD HAS HELPED ME.

May seem silly to others. But, that tree...reminds me of God's presence and protection.

Marilyn in Mississippi said...

Praise the Lord our God is still in the stone-moving business!

May God bless you and give you a most blessed Easter weekend!


RefreshMom said...

I hope you're having a blessed weekend Joy. I have a message at RefreshMoments that I hope will bless you as well.