We need more ebenezers.
We need more ebenezers, but not those Scrooge ones.
Yep. We need more ebenezers from the old hymn kind; ‘Here I raise my Ebenezer, Hither by thine help I come’. Them kinds. Just before you accuse me of English professorship for a cotton pickin minute.
Only you turn mistakes into miracles.
Let me back track a moment. Follow my crazy train (of thought).
Only you make broken stories beautiful.
Yesterday it was my middle son’s birthday and as I was writing a little post for the socials (we have family members who need and appreciate the reminder, plus it’s a nice opportunity to really honour him) I was struck by how often we can look at the ‘shiny’ and be clueless and ignorant of all the hard work, grit and determination that has gone into polishing the shiny. So that shiny can even exist. Not through any fault of our own at times, but sometimes simply because we don’t know a person well enough, deep enough, or our shared history is limited or we’ve just never been exposed to any of the journey that a person took, to get them where they are now.
If you had known my boy at age 3,4, or 5 you would have known he had severe speech difficulties. SEVERE. I was his main interpreter up until he started school. And the speech wasn’t great for years after…. We spent countless hours in speech therapy, not to mention paid megabucks for this therapy in all the countries we lived in. Speaking of countries, this kid experienced homeschool with this ole teacher in three different countries, American public school where there were 50 kids in his first class (gasp!), private Christian schooling in Australia and then an integrated state school back in NZ. Talk about variety in curriculum. And blah blah blah…..I could go on and on about the resilience forming things that have shaped his life, but that’s not what is burning on my heart right now. Nope. It’s not about how awesome my kid is, it’s actually about how awesome my God is, and because of that, my kid’s awesomeness shines through.
If anything is possible to rise again.
You see under the shiny in my Luka, is the hard. Has been the hard.
Come and make these dead bones live.
Under the shiny in me, is the hard.
Cause only you make prophets out of prodigals.
BUT. God. BUT GOD.
And only you deserve the glory for it all.
The fact that my kid can work in a retail setting and have to talk to the public is testament to his journey of healing.
And nothing is too far from you to rise again.
The fact that my kid is an excellent student and will be in a position to go down nearly any career path he chooses, is testament to God’s faithfulness, in and through our international moves.
Come and make these dead bones live.
But you wouldn’t necessarily know these things if I didn’t see the need to stop for a moment and go ‘Woah, this is an ebenezer thing’.
Cause only you turn mistakes into miracles.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of ‘Ebenezer’ reads as ‘a commemoration of divine assistance’. In Bible times Eben-Ezer was a place where Samuel placed some stones as a monument to remember the Lord’s presence and power, protecting them in battle.
I’m not really about to start setting up actual stone monuments around my house and garden. I think my landlord would have a problem with that, but I wonder if a modern-day equivalent could be something as simple as saying in some kind of a public way, that my boy has come such a long way, and we know that it’s been only through God’s power and provision. And maybe not shying away from telling more of our stories, when appropriate. That could be an ebenezer thing too.
My children have been and are at an outstanding school here in NZ. And for the last 8 years we’ve had financial help from amazing friends who have been strongly connected with the school, to get the boys there and keep them there, at this school while I was not working full time. There’s a big stone there.
The tears I’ve shed and the anguish wrenched in my heart over the official diagnosis for all three of my boys and their speech difficulties has been massive. But. How far they have come. More stones there.
The unexpected type one diabetes development in my husband right before we left the States where his insulin would have been a huge financial burden had we stayed there longer. There’s a mountain of stones right there.
I’ve been thinking about why it is I’ve felt the need to share this all, right now, after I’ve had zero words for the old blogeroo for months and months, years even. And I guess only God really knows the answer to that. But this I do know; the more you say yes to God and take a risk and do something that may not seem the easy thing or the most accepted by society…….the more you follow that simple God nudge and then see the goodness of God come through for you, time and time again, the more readily you will say ‘yes’ the next time. And the adventure is worth it. So very worth it.
When you remember the times of trial and the yuck and the lack and the mess, but then you see the yay, the better and the miraculous, then the more God is in the spotlight of your life and the more He gets the credit. I think that’s why we need these ebenezers.
We just seem to forget the good. It has been scientifically proven that our brains are actually wired to remember criticism and negativity, more than compliments and positivity. Those neural pathways for the blurgh are stronger. Plus we’re so leaky. We need the ebenezers to be placed around us, to remind us of His presence and goodness and faithfulness. To keep our focus clear and centred.
We need more ebenezers. I’ll show you mine, how about you show me yours?
(words in italics not my own, they are lyrics from ‘Graves’ by KB and Brandon Lake).