My favorite hymn, which ironically is not in the current LDS hymnbook (WHY????), is "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing". I can rarely hear it without my emotions surfacing or spilling over. This Thanksgiving Eve, my thoughts have been on the second verse, which sings,
"Here I raise my Ebenezer;
hither by Thy help I'm come"
Do you know what an "ebenezer" is? According to the King James Version Bible Dictionary, it is referred to as a "Stone of Help". More background describes a stone set up by Samuel as a token of gratitude for deliverance from the Philistines (1 Sam. 7:10-12). In an article by Dr. Gregory S. Neal, we are enlightened that we have in our lives our own "Stones of Help", our own EBENEZERS, our own reminders of God's presence and hand in our lives.
On this day of gratitude, I'm thankful to recognize the ebenezers in my life, some of which are:
- my trials, which have strengthened me and given me experiences which were undoubtedly for my own good and growth
- my support structure, which is built by loyal, forgiving family members and selfless friends
- the scriptures, which offer wisdom and personal revelation
- prayer - having the opportunity to have a two-way conversation with my Heavenly Father is quite possibly the greatest tool we have been blessed with for our mortal experience
- my temple covenants - the comfort that comes from knowing Heavenly Father and I have made promises with each other, and if I can just be faithful on my end, Heavenly Father is bound by those covenants to follow through with those promised blessings. Why should I ever need more motivation than that?
I am terribly imperfect and flawed. I am "prone to wander", as the song humbly admits. But as I "raise my ebenezer", as I utilize the help God has granted me in my life, it is my hope "that Christ may seal [me] His" (Mosiah 5:15), and that is truly cause for giving thanks.
What are YOUR ebenezers?