Last night for a few minutes the conversation turned to Ebenezers. Monuments set up, places of remembrance, piles of ordinary stones marking extraordinary situations.
We’re on our way and it seems to be the theme of our friendships recently. I picked up a friend from the airport the other night and we talked about places we’ve left behind and the places we’re headed and how still Zion is in our hearts. Yesterday as we kayaked toward the sunset we three asked the question, “Why not?” And surely, why not? At the end of the night, peppered with worship and laughter and a campfire he closed his prayer saying this: we know we’re on our way to eternity, but God, eternity starts here, now.
We’re on our way, but we’re already there.
I have set an Ebenezer up somewhere along the way, it doesn’t matter where, but its placement confuses me sometimes. I thought I left it here, but then maybe it was there, perhaps it was in this situation, or maybe there. Until someone asks and I throw my hands up and say, “I don’t know! I don’t know what or where the goodness of God is! I don’t know where I left it and I don’t know if I can find it again.”
But today I read about Samuel’s Ebenezer, his monument of God’s faithfulness and I love this. I love this:
Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far has the LORD helped us.”
Thus far has the LORD helped us. Up to now. At this point. All the way to this moment. Thus far.
But we’re not through yet.
And I am reminded of Psalm 84: Blessed is the man whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. Another version says, “in whose hearts are the highways to Zion.” And yet another says “whose hearts are the way you travel.”
We are vagabonds at heart. Setting our sights on eternity, but starting now. Setting Ebenezers along the way, making Thus Far part of our spiritual vernacular.
We haven’t arrived, but He has and so we’re on our way.