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    At Life’s Milestones, Set Up an Ebenezer

    Thursday, February 14, 2019

    Do you ever have reality checks? Like “oh my goodness, I’m 28 and my life does not look like I thought it would” life checks? Usually this happens for me on birthdays or when I show up to the family Thanksgiving again and I feel the same as last year and the year before. Maybe it was Valentine’s Day or Christmas for you.

    We consider these to be life’s milestones. A milestone is “a stone set up beside a road to mark the distance in miles to a particular place; an action or event marking a significant change or stage in development.” We all have these mental checkpoints where we want to do “this” by the time we are “this many” years old. I want to be married by the time I’m 30. I want to have my dream career by the time I’m 35. I want to have children after three years of marriage. I’d like to be engaged by the spring so I can plan a fall wedding. We set up these milestones or checkups to keep us on track to accomplish our desires and goals.

    Then life.

    Life isn’t Instagram perfect. We wake up on Valentine’s Day only to be reminded that we had hopes last year that this year would be different. Thirty rolls around and there are no men in your life that you would even be interested in. The dream career proves to be financially impossible at this stage. And he sure doesn’t seem to be popping the question anytime soon.

    What do you do at those milestones?

    Set up an Ebenezer.

    “Afterward, Samuel took a stone and set it upright between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, explaining, ‘The Lord has helped us to this point,’” (I Samuel 7:12). 

    God helped the Israelites defeat the Philistines and Samuel, in an act of worship, set up a commemoration of this event. Ebenezer means “a stone of help; a commemoration of divine assistance.” Samuel saw the battle; he saw the victory, and he raised a hallelujah. He set up a stone and realized, “We are here because of God. The Lord has helped us to this point.”

    Sister, The Lord has helped you to this point.

    What will you do with these milestones of life? See the battle that has been waged over your soul: The enemy whispers the lies of not good enough, lonely, never going to happen, unloved, forgotten. See the victory: God’s Word says Christ is enough for you, He will never leave you, He knows the desires of your heart and withholds no good thing from you, you are loved, God thought of you before the foundation of the world. Set up your Ebenezer: See that God has brought you to today, to this milestone. He has helped you to this point. He has worked all things for your good.

    So when you come upon a milestone, set up your Ebenezer. And raise your hallelujah.

    Hymn: Come Thou Fount
    Come Thou fount of every blessing
    Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
    Streams of mercy never ceasing
    Call for songs of loudest praise
    Teach me some melodious sonnet
    Sung by flaming tongues above
    Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it
    Mount of Thy redeeming love
    Here I raise mine Ebenezer; hither by Thy help I’m come
    - Come Thou Fount  

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