One of the old hymns of the faith forever ingrained in my heart and regularly in my mind, is “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” So much good theology is wrapped into the lyrics of that beautiful hymn.
This month as I have been reading through Scripture and writing about money, God reminded me again of the concept in 1 Samuel 7, echoed in “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” The Ebenezer – a stone of help, a stone of remembrance, is set up and named by Sameul, saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us.” (1 Samuel 7:12) Thousands of years later, Robert Robinson used the concept in his hymn of faith.
Here I raise my EbenezerRobert Robinson
Here there by Thy great help I’ve come
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home
Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood
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Nostalgia is an old friend of mine. I like to mentally scan the path behind me and consider the goodness and faithfulness of God. There are just so many milestones along the way, where only His hand could have brought me through.
As I have written about finances this month and marriage and money this week, I have been surveying the landscape behind us. It is filled with unexpected surprises – at least 3 of them! – a few failures which led to lessons learned, and abundant blessings from God.
Ebenezer Stones – Our Home
When I think back to the beginning of our marriage, we started with something most couples don’t start with – a house. My husband and I actually house shopped on the weekends I came to visit during our engagement. He purchased the home at the end of June and we moved in at the end of September.
I still remember walking through the house, thanking God that all this was ours! As a result of our union, I became the first homeowner in our family. A couple of years later, God moved us to our current home. We called it our every-eventuality house. We figured God may give us a kid. They would have a room. We figured God may have one of our parents need a place in old age. They would have a room. This house was too big for us! And yet, God placed us here, with all His plans in mind. He provided for us what we couldn’t have possibly known was the perfect house.
God also provided something intangible when he gave us our house. He gave me a Place. As I kid, I moved over 20 times before going to college at 19. We have lived in this home for 14 years! That beats all current records by at least seven fold!
God’s goodness in providing a home – a place – “Thus far the LORD has helped us.”
Ebenezer Stones – My Husband
Psst…today is my husband’s birthday. So he is just going to have to put up with my compliments for today.
God brought this man into my life strictly as a friend. He knew from the foundations what He had planned. I smile to think of that day He finally showed us.
God has gifted my husband with humility, patience, diligence, and contentment. Each of these he seems to have in full measure – as I haven’t been able to to plumb their depths in 17 years.
God has granted my husband favor with his clients for 17 years. Though my husband is in a business notorious for its ups and downs, God has shown him favor through each and every year. God changed my husband’s direction and set him on a path completely different than what he had thought he would do and He has guided every step along the way.
God’s mercy and grace – in providing this man – “Thus far the LORD has helped us.”
Ebenezer Stones – Our Finances
God has provided for us, His children abundantly beyond anything we could ask or think. In fact, I was just telling my husband today, it is kind of hard to nail down financial goals. We don’t desire to have a certain amount in our bank account or a certain level of material possessions. Those things don’t seem to matter all that much.
That contentment thing God gave my husband kind of rubbed off. We are ok with not having real long-term goals for now. I think that is what is called financial peace.
The reason for our lack of goals may be God’s provision in the past. He has been good to provide for us such that we have never lived paycheck-to-paycheck. In fact, we often forget to put our paychecks into the bank – sometimes for months at a time. Only God could provide like that – again, in an industry which is usually feast or famine.
I look around our home and almost every possession tells a story of God’s provision.
God’s care and provision – in giving us beyond our daily bread, every good and perfect gift – “Thus far the LORD has helped us.”
Ebenezer Stones – God
Any good in us as a couple is the result of God. Plain and simple – we are nothing apart from Him. His Word has guided us through difficult decisions. He has provided wisdom and direction through our connection to Him.
He has revealed specific Scriptures to us just when we needed them. Life verses which have informed financial, parental, marital choices. As I was preparing to sit down and write this article, my eyes flashed across one of my favorites:
Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good words, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.1 Timothy 6:17 (emphasis mine)
Our accurate understanding of who God is – a result of studying His good and perfect Word – “Thus far the LORD has helped us.”
Another Ebenezer Stone
As I sat down at the beginning of this year to decide the direction of my business, I wrote down focus topics for each month of the year. Next to April I wrote “Math and Money-?”
That placeholder must have been from the Lord.
About a month or so later, my husband mentioned to me – unprompted – that he was sad about the fact that many people don’t have $1,000 in savings. He said he would like to give away $5,000. And he wondered if it would be best to do it on my blog.
Immediately, I was on board.
God’s inspiration and provision – to give generously to someone who needs it – “Thus far the LORD has helped us.”
So are you ready? We are actually going to do this! We are giving away $5,000. Five different people are going to be able to say they have $1,000 in savings! That’s an emergency fund starter. Or a blessing to a young couple starting out. The crazy fun part is we don’t know – but we know a God Who does!