Here I Raise My … What?

By Joyce Johnson

A favorite hymn of mine is “Come Thou Fount of Many Blessings”. I like the line “Tune my heart to sing thy grace” because my heart needs a LOT of tuning! Another line in this hymn that I resonate with is at the start of verse two: “Here I raise my Ebenezer”. My what? If you’re like me, that word might give you pause – or remind you of a famous Christmas character 🙂 Actually, it has scriptural roots in 1 Samuel 7, when God once again intervened on behalf of his people in a major way and Samuel put a stone in the place, calling it “Ebenezer” and saying “thus far the Lord has helped us”. In Hebrew, it means “stone of help.” Simply put, remember God. Remember how He has provided, blessed, shown up, extended grace. Again and again.

You see, I easily forget and am prone to wander. I focus on my stuff, my concerns, and my circumstances and begin to fear, thinking I am alone in figuring life out. Thankfully, that’s when that still, small voice starts singing to me in my head: “prone to wander-Lord, I feel it”; “Let thy grace now, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee”; “streams of mercy never ceasing”; “Here I raise my Ebenezer, hither by thy help I’m come”.

Have you raised an Ebenezer recently? Where’s your pile of stones? If you are like me, you’ll have MANY piles in your past, present and future! Let me tell you about my most recent one. It is sitting on the platform at NLD. Yes, my Ebenezer is the beautiful baby grand piano that was donated by an Upper Dublin resident who was downsizing and wanted to find a home for her wonderful instrument. You heard right, we received it without cost-a free gift!

After a few hard weeks of struggling with fear, unbelief, and self-focus, Jesus showed up again. Of course, He is always with me, but this time he decided to show his grace and love in a tangible way by plopping a gigantic stone in my lap! I pray that each time I play or hear the sound of this piano; I will remember God’s generous faithfulness and kind provision for His people!

Now it’s your turn to raise your Ebenezer! Let the stories begin….