Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, “Hitherto has the Lord helped us” (I-Samuel 7:12).
It is New Year’s Eve and regardless of when or where you were born, in one way or another, the Lord has helped you, and somehow gratitude just does not seem to be enough. “Hitherto” an adverb of Middle English origin that has a poetic ring to it versus up to this time, but that is exactly what it means. Not up to yesterday, tomorrow or in the future, up to this second, minute, hour and day—the last day of 2014—the Lord has helped who? Us!
The good thing about Jehovah, the god I serve, is that He has an indisputable track record, let’s not look any farther back that January 1, 2014. Through sickness and health, even unto the brink of death the Lord has helped us, in poverty, distress and despair the Lord has blessed us richly, tempers flared, stress and anger abounds and the Lord calms the heart of the angry beast, and just when we were ready to give up and toss in the towel, the Lord tosses it back, saying “Not yet, my child.”
Personally, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, instead I endeavor to improve my life through acts of kindness born of faith, trusting that the Lord will help me. I cannot tell you to make a resolution or not to make one or more, but I will ask you to resolve unto yourself that in 2015, the New Year, you will let the Lord help you in whatever you endeavor to accomplish.
The grim reality of quiet reflection drives home the point that “hitherto” up to this point, I did not, you did not, we did not make it on our own the Lord helped us. Leaving the past behind and pressing forward toward the prize of heavenly glory, let us give Him the praise, honor and glory that is rightfully His. Happy New Year, be blessed and be a blessing to someone in the New Year.
Grady Norman Greene Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ