Matthew Henry said
[Samuel] set up an Ebenezer, the stone of help. If ever the people's hard hearts should lose the impressions of this providence, this stone would either revive the remembrance of it, and make them thankful, or remain a standing witness against them for their unthankfulness . . . The beginnings of mercy and deliverance are to be acknowledged by us with thankfulness so far as they go, though they be not completely finished, nay, though the issue seem uncertain. Having obtained help from God, I continue hitherto, says blessed Paul, Acts 26:22. (from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible.)
I enjoyed this week:
* a serendipitous phone conversation with an old friend who also lives apart from her children and grandchildren, and also copes with physical pain.
* several pleasant meals with my husband – and one with a younger family member who has been helpful with a daunting office move.
* bible study and fellowship that answered some issues I had privately raised with God.
* a note from someone who said thanks for some [minimal] help I offered
* a friend who took the time to minister and pray with me and helped me avoid stumbling into a puddle of despair – which always leads smack dab into a pit.
* being asked to help in Bible study for next year.
All these were over and above the happiness of my marriage, our children, our health, safety and well-being, our daily bread, and a week of weather that urged the roses in our garden to burst out.
I did not enjoy equally useful reminders that:
* some people I know and love, prefer atheism to faith in Christ.
* some other folks I know and love, have besetting physical problems and others have addiction problems.
* I have failed my children and husband just as I complain others failed me.
An adage worth remembering counsels: “If you can't be content with what you have received, be thankful for what you have escaped.” And the choice is up to me to be grateful or griping. My choice is the mortar that will hold a precious stone in place – for uncertain times are a certainty.