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).
It is a busy time at Adventist HealthCare as we finalize the arrangements related to opening the new White Oak Medical Center, reconfigure our presence in Takoma Park where we have been for more than 100 years, and anticipate the new opportunities to partner and serve at Fort Washington Medical Center. So many significant moments—milestones—in our company and in the communities where we are privileged to work!
In an ancient story told in the biblical book of 1 Samuel, we learn how the prophet Samuel—a man who had begun his life of service as a child and who was now a very old man—had called on the people of God to be faithful in fulfilling the purpose and task that God had laid down before them. They responded with commitment and courage, and as a result they were able to achieve the goals that had eluded them more than 20 years. They turned back an invasion and won the day—as well as their confidence in the future.
Samuel did something very interesting at that point: he raised up a monument stone and named it Ebenezer (literally, stone of help) because, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”
The location became a monument for how God had blessed His people. Whenever they would see the Ebenezer stone, their focus was not on the battle they had won but on how God had won the battle for them. I hope we will regard the things happening in our company in much the same way.
Here at the beginning of a new month, with so many wonderful things happening over the next few weeks, this old story calls us to remember the abundant blessings that we have received from God. These milestones are in fact Ebenezers, stones of help. And every day brings a new Ebenezer!
How fortunate we are to be given the opportunity—this sacred ministry—to help improve the health of our communities and extend God’s care through a ministry of physical, mental, and spiritual healing! How blessed we are to be participants in these great moments of growth and transition, where the evidence of how “the Lord has helped us” is so abundant!
With my eye on the Ebenezer, I can’t wait to see all the ways that God will bless us in the future!