Monday, November 05, 2007

ebenezer

I am putting the finishing touches on my forgiveness workshop. Despite my mental block and my inability to express with words what my tears have no trouble with, I have managed to put together a couple slides of my heart's learnings.

One thing that has stood out to me during this workshop "put-together" is the thought of a stone of ebenezer. 1 Samuel 7:12 tells us that Samuel set up an ebenezer for the nation of Israel. Samuel judged Israel and demanded that if they were to follow God, they had to put away their foreign gods. As they were repenting near Mizpah, the Philistines heard of it and went out to attack them. Samuel cried out to the Lord and God saved them that day by throwing the Philistines into "confusion" (check it out. 1 Sam. 7:3-13). After they defeated the Philistines Samuel sets up a stone of ebenezer or a rock of rememberence and said, "Til now the Lord has helped us."

This made me think of my own life... how God took me naked and wounded from the mire and clay, to be washed, clothed in robes, and placed in His courts. I am reminded how I was an object of His wrath and am now transformed into an object of His mercy.

How did I get here?

Hardly by my own efforts... and thus, I was reminded of my own stone of ebenezers.

The one that I am using in my workshop is the stone of ebenezer that stands in Bruegger's Bagels shop in Iowa City. I placed it there a Sunday morning in the fall of 2001. That stone reminds me that not everyone sees a lost and worthless soul when they look at me. I had been rejected by all that I had turned too and I feared that Christ would do the same to me, look at me as a failure. Instead, God brought in my life a woman who showed me that with Christ there is grace and salvation. I can clearly see that stone and where I sat with her... it's at that table that I set this stone of rememberance. A stone that will forever in my heart speak of God's grace.

I don't want to forget these stones of ebenezers in my life. For they are the stepping stones that bring me to the throne of God.

2 comments:

emily said...

I love you. Really LOVE you! you are beautiful my sister!

Mom XOXOX said...

Oh, Joanna, I have laughed with you, and I have wept with you. This is beautiful! You have grown so since that Sunday morning. May others worldwide see you now as the message of forgiveness and grace that you are. Your mini-presentation here is amazing. May it be used by all who hear or read to challenge their lives. You are the daughter who far exceeds my dreams for you! I love you!