It has been a while now, but I still feel it – The Joy Factor.
Without change of circumstance or environment, something abides in my heart. Early on a Saturday morning, I awoke with the following poetic prayer dancing in my mind…
God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.
Even when the way goes through
I’m not afraid
when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
makes me feel secure.
You serve me a six-course dinner
right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
my cup brims with blessing.
Your beauty and love chase after me
every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of God
for the rest of my life
I believe that early morning experience is, to me, an Ebenezer.
In ancient Hebrew history the Israelites were twice defeated by one of their most fierce rivals, the Philistines. Twice they were buried in disgrace and their most prized possession, the Ark of the Covenant, taken from them. Finally, at a third opportunity for breakthrough in battle, Israel prevailed. Yeah!!!
They erected a monument at the site of this battle field and called it Ebenezer. Eventually, the whole area came to be known by that name. The name was a word made from two words, meaning ‘place’ and ‘stone’ and came to be known as the place where the Lord helped.
Later, when God would help someone they would say of the lasting substance and significance of that breakthrough activity, “That is my Ebenezer.”
That Saturday morning is an Ebenezer for me. For some reason, God showed up, put a word in my heart (Psalm 23) and changed something inside of me. Since that day, I have felt this joy factor that has led me through transition and a new life definition and vision.
To me this is Groovy Gravy! I don’t understand it, but I sure do appreciate it. Right now, think about a time, place or space where God showed up for you, mark it in your mind and heart, write it down if you would like. Make your own Ebenezer and be thankful.
More succinctly, maybe you have been a loser in this battlefield again and again and yet you have not given up or given in to the notion that succeeding over your challenges is possible, then come back to the battle with God’s attendance and assistance. Plan on erecting your own Ebenezer!
So, next time you hear the word ‘Ebenezer’ forget Scrooge, remember God….and be strong!