“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Jeshanah, and named it Ebenezer; for he said, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us.’”
1 Samuel 7:12
Several years ago at a used bookstore, I purchased one of those large books that you might set on your coffee table and pick up to look at occasionally. It was a book with beautiful photographs and short stories outlining the life and ministry of the late Rev. Billy Graham, a prominent Christian evangelist who inspired many people in faith beginning in the 1940s.
Recently, I needed to raise up my laptop computer to get it in a position that was not putting unnecessary strain on my neck. I saw the Billy Graham book in a stack of books on the floor along side my book case and it was the perfect size to fit under my computer and raise it up just enough. When I read ‘Billy Graham God’s Ambassador’ as the title of the book on the binder, I imagined all the people Billy Graham raised up in faith by sharing his love of God.
Then, with the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in recent days, I thought of all the people she raised up with her advocacy for gender equality, women’s rights and civil liberties. Who is it that has raised you up in life and faith?
In the Old Testament of the Bible, the Hebrew prophet Samuel sets up a stone to commemorate the help that God had given the Israelites. Samuel named that stone ‘Ebenezer,’ which means ‘stone of help.’ There is a beautiful line in the hymn Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing, that says, “Here I raise mine Ebenezer; hither by thy help I’m come…”
Who is your Ebenezer…your stone of help…your rock? With gratitude this week, may we remember those people who give us hope, purpose, laughter and love. May we allow gratitude to guide us as we remember those who have raised us up.