Click Map for Details

Flag Counter

Friday, April 5, 2013

Here I Raise My Ebenezer

What about the “days of your youth” do you yearn for? If you could turn the clock back for one day, which day in your youth would you like to relive? Why? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1182).

(--From blog of February 9, 2012--)
Personal Gethsemanes are characterized by a sense of foreboding that excruciatingly painful, tough times are ahead. Nevertheless, the divine presence is palpable accompanied by the sense this is God’s will and entails his purpose for one’s life—that he will be with one throughout and that after long tribulation will come victory. This occurs when one is alone; when God is having a private time with his servant. It becomes an unforgettable set piece and portends the future in general rather than specific terms. My personal Gethsemane occurred on the University of South Florida campus in 1965. It was towards dusk in the parking lot of the humanities building. I was walking across the lot and was stopped dead in my tracks. I found myself alone. I sensed the presence of God and the love of God. It was like a father sorrowfully warning me that unspecified tough days were ahead, sad days; but he would be there with me throughout the journey and that joy would await on the other side. In the following years I was frequently in over my head. I was jailed for opposing the Vietnam War; I endured tough times at universities and felt somewhat alienated; I intentionally moved into a neighborhood that was full of unacceptable tragedies; I underwent repeated episodes of mental illness; I felt stymied in my career and sensed the inexorable passing of time. Yet joy has come to characterize my life. After drinking from the proffered cup, in many ways I have experienced victory and have been given a gift of peace. I feel that God had a job for me to do, and that I did not shirk from it. One could approach his later years with a lesser sense of faithfulness in pursuing assigned tasks.

The personal Gethsemane described above is the point in time I would most like to relive. It was a moment full of sadness, yet of great promise. It was not only a Gethsemane moment but, because it was filled with promise, an Abraham moment as well. It was a one-on-one with God. In years since I have felt the closeness and the reality of God many times, but these times have had more of a routine maintenance aspect and lacked the landmark covenant character encountered in 1965. Thus, it is here that I must in gratitude erect my Ebenezer. ([ Meaning of “raise my Ebenezer”]

Print Page