Remembering God's Faithfulness - Part 4
It hangs above my mantle. I see it every time I leave my house or enter my living room. I need to see it. I need to be reminded. The word is seared into the old barn wood—tetelestai. The full reality of this Greek word can’t be expressed in the English language. What Christ announced in his final breaths has everlasting implications for mankind. We read it in the English, “it is finished,” and we only begin to realize that the meaning captured in these three words uttered by Christ seals the believer to an everlasting joy. Christ accomplished something upon which all history pivots—something upon which our faith must cling. Tetelestai is in the perfect indicative—it was an action that was fully completed in the moment of his death yet has ongoing effect for today. And every time I pass that sign, or marker, I am compelled to think about its implications. At least that was my idea. Most things hanging on our walls eventually become commonplace, and we cease to notice them. This wall-hanging is unique, though. Almost every time the door is shut too abruptly, the sign shifts. It shifts enough that I must approach the sign and straighten it. And in the middle of a mundane day, I remember, often in a moment when I need it most, that “It is finished.” Christ has finished the work of atonement; he finished his pain of the cross. He has secured my adoption, justification, and glorification. Without that tangible marker in my living room, I wonder how often Christ’s words on the cross would come to my mind. As we wrap up our discussion on remembering God’s faithfulness, I want to consider the concept of Ebenezers.
1 Samuel 7:12 says, “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, ‘Till now the Lord has helped us.’” It was that stone, whenever they passed it, that Israel would see as a special reminder that “God has always been faithful as our helper in our ever-present need.” A stone outlasts the seasons and doesn’t erode or shift but remains unmoved. God’s narrative from the beginning of the Bible to the end is the stone that remains. It survives the flood of life and is the solid ground we may stand upon and cling to. We need these reminders in the torrent of life. My friend, Jason Helopoulos, said, “Every Christian does well to make his mind a field littered with outcrops of Ebenezer stones.” Psalm 18:2 reminds us of this use of the word stone, or rock, when it says, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” How often do we return to the thought of his faithfulness and how intentional are we to remember? What physical or mental markers do we have in place to help us remember? There are practical ways to have an Ebenezer. Have a set time each day to open God’s Word and study it. Let this time be non-negotiable. It is a marker in your day to be still and consider God. Maybe you have a recurring calendar update that reminds you on a certain day each year of God’s particular faithfulness in your life. However you seek to remember God’s faithfulness, consider setting a marker in your life to constantly bring you back to this consideration. Has not the Lord helped us until now?
Grace and Peace,