Monday, September 13, 2010
These words from the hymn,“Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” are close to my heart. The word "Ebenezer" here refers to I Samuel 7:12 where Samuel announced, “Thus far has the Lord helped us” after he put up a stone as a memorial to God’s help to the Israelites in overcoming the Philistines. Ebenezer means “stone of help.”
If I could, I would find a very large stone and put it in my front lawn today. And when the neighbors walked by with their dogs this evening, I’d be out there to answer their questions.
“Yes,” I’d say, “it is a large stone. But, it’s a reminder of the huge thing God has done for me. You see, thirty years ago this month God rescued me from a life spiraling into darkness. He gave me a future and a hope, a family and more than I could ever have dreamed or imagined. He’s healed me from horrible trauma, set my feet on a journey to heaven, and given me, yes me, a ministry to those who have similar pain. Out of my own struggles, he’s inspired music, songs, screenplays, novels, and devotions. So, the rock isn’t even big enough to say what I really want to say--just know mighty God has been my help.”
I don’t know how my neighbors would respond, but it sure would be fun to see.
And while I’m remembering, I want to say that the first person in to help me during that terrible time in my life all those years ago was Dr. Warren Lathem. Warren and his precious wife, Jane, have been lifelong friends. After a stellar ministry in North Atlanta, taking a church of less than 100 to over 10,000 in seventeen years, they continue to have several ministries including “Venezuela, Now”—an outreach they started in Venezuela, after the death of their beloved son, Ray, in the 1996 ValueJet Crash. Ray's plane went down on his return from a mission trip to Venezuela. The work in Venezuela includes a seminary which now has the first graduating class in the field reaching Venezuelans for Christ.( www.venezuelaforchrist.blogspot.com ) I owe the Lathem’s my life in so many ways.
So, if you cruise by my house and see me rolling a big rock out to the mailbox, you’ll know why. You might even want to know where I got it, because you, too, might need a rock of remembrance.