Friday, January 15, 2021

Devotionals for the Heart: Stones

Stones of Remembrance
A devotional by Jessica Collazo

“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” –1 Samuel 7:12 (NIV)

I don’t know how many times I heard someone say that 2020 needed to end.

Interestingly enough, January 1st has always brought about a lot of high hopes for many. An opportunity for a fresh start, a chance for a do-over, a time to reset, or the ability to put things behind us. Considering this past year in particular, 2021 could not come fast enough.

For many, 2020 felt like a boxing ring where one hit after another kept coming and the round never seemed to end. The desire to feel like the end was in sight was heightened by the blows that kept coming and the lack of interference from a referee. The fight felt heavy and unfair.

But I wonder, does the Lord truly want us to forget 2020? Are we supposed to hit the reset button and pretend like one of the most pivotal years in our history never happened?

I am starting to think maybe not.

Could it be that 2020 was actually an Ebenezer year for you and for me? A year where we look back and say “The Lord has helped us.” It is clear that 2020 was a year where no one was exempt from pain, heartache or suffering. It was a year that really tested our faith, but friend, I want to remind you that we made it through. The Lord did not withhold His hand from us. He walked beside us and before us the entire time.

The Israelites experienced God’s faithfulness in their battle at Mizpah. The Israelites had turned back to the Lord, and as they assembled before the Lord, the Philistines came to attack. The Lord heard Samuel’s plea and helped them win the battle.

The reason Samuel put the stone there was because it was to serve as a remembrance every time the Israelites looked at the stone. Why would the stone be needed? Simply put, because in our humanity we seem to forget that the Lord is with us. We forget that if He did it once, He will do it again. Or maybe we didn’t forget what He did, we just feel like whatever we are going through at the moment is so much bigger than what we went through the last time, and we may wonder, “Does He even want to help me again?”

The answer is yes! God absolutely wants to help us and He wants us to remember that He is always with us.

2020 will forever be a year marked in our history for generations to come. An Ebenezer year where we can look back and remember how the Lord does not cease to help us. Now, let’s walk through 2021 with the confidence of knowing that we walk with the Lord, our ever present help. 

May we always remember that our help cometh from the Lord! 

Listen to this song by Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir and be encouraged. 

Let’s Pray:
Father in Heaven, we come to you with open hearts. Acknowledging that 2020 was not the easiest year. Many of us are tired and worn down. We are hurting or simply have become apathetic. However, in the midst of all those feelings, we are choosing to lay down Ebenezer Stones in remembrance of your ever present help. We know that despite our feelings, you my God have never left us or forsaken us. We thank you for the grace and mercy you extend to us daily. In Jesus name. Amen.

Author Bio:

Jessica Collazo is a Chicago native with a heart that beats for Jesus. Her passion is to challenge women to think differently, gain a new perspective and live confidently. Because she knows it’s possible.

Using God’s Word, a little bit of humor, along with a strategic way of thinking and sharing personal stories, Jessica offers a fresh take on where to go when women feel stuck, overlooked or overwhelmed.

Jessica’s greatest passion is to help women take off the identities they have been given by the world and realize who they are in Christ: known, dearly loved, set apart, and chosen.

Jessica is the customer experience manager at Proverbs 31 Ministries who lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband, Jerry, two sons and dog, Sawyer. Prior to working at Proverbs 31 Ministries, Jessica has over 10 years of experience working in women’s ministry, marriage ministry and outreach.

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