1 Samuel 7:9-12 Samuel pleaded with the Lord to help Israel, and the Lord answered him . . . the Philistines arrived to attack Israel, but the Lord spoke with a mighty voice of thunder from heaven and the Philistines were thrown into confusion . . . Samuel then took a large stone and named it Ebenezer (which means “the stone of help”), for he said, “Up to this point the Lord has helped us!”
Yesterday this passage was used at a gathering of prayer ministers at our church. It fits nicely with the “Stones of Remembrance” I use for the Karis book parties. After telling three stories of how God intervened in our lives, and specifically Karis’s life, I invite the participants to also collect a basket of stones, number them, and write a story associated with each one that tells what God has done in his or her own life or family’s life.
When I read Bible stories like this one, I like to imagine the types of “enemies” Karis fought. Infections. Rejection. Injuries from falls. Side effects from medications. All kinds of limitations and losses. Emotional challenges. Temptations to discouragement and despair . . .
I find it interesting that in this story God speaks with a mighty voice against Israel’s enemies. But when he speaks with us, he usually uses a quiet, gentle voice. We need to be still and listen to his voice, speaking love, and wisdom, and encouragement. Speaking healing into our bruised and battered souls. Speaking truth to the lies we have believed. Speaking freedom from the shackles we have allowed the enemy to fasten around us. Speaking hope, and joy, and peace to our fears and our anxieties and our despair. Speaking comfort and compassion to our grief and neediness.
Today, as I prepare to leave tomorrow for another “Stones of Remembrance” trip, I am hearing the Lord say to me “Don’t be afraid . . . the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow, march out . . . Take your position; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you. Do not be afraid or discouraged” (2 Chronicles 20:15-17).
Be still. Let him be God.