A Visual Reminder of God’s Faithfulness

A Visual Reminder of God’s Faithfulness

Memories weave our past our present, connecting yesterday with today and tomorrow. When we celebrate any kind of occasion, we remember the people who, over the years, have been there for us, supporting and encouraging us, making this day possible. When we’re facing challenges, we’re prompted to reach out to those who have helped us in the past—those we can rely on to be there for us today.

On the battlefield, where years ago they had suffered defeat, Israel pled with God for help, and he granted them a miraculous victory. Their priest and leader, Samuel, set up a monument to remind them of God’s strong hand in their triumph, and Samuel named the pillar Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us” (1 Samuel 7:12). This stone pillar called God’s people to recall, and recall often, the time when God turned events from bad to blessed. Each time an Israelite saw the Ebenezer stone, they remembered God’s help in the past, God’s help relied on today and God’s help assured for tomorrow.

The Ebenezer was a “picture” of the Lord’s readiness to hear their cries and save them, and it served to remind them where to turn for their strength and power—and whom to thank for their deliverance. Unlike the commemorative pillar erected by Samuel, your Ebenezer—your stone of help—requires neither hammer nor chisel. You don’t need to sit down and write eloquent songs, as the psalmists did, either. To create your personal Ebenezer, all you need to do is mentally page through your spiritual memory album and recall the many and varied victories God has given you.

You might begin by remembering the gifts of life, parents, home, health, education and family. Your memories could include the blessings of friends, livelihood and community. But, especially, remember certain events in your life—times when God turned what appeared to be difficulty into an unexpected opportunity, or when he took you through hardship so you could gain the gifts of maturity and wisdom. Your personal Ebenezer can turn you away from fear, doubt and disbelief today, because you realize once again how many times in the past God has forgiven, protected and provided for you.

As I reflect, I can’t help but think of God’s faithfulness to Fresno Pacific. Last fall FPU kicked off the 75th Anniversary year and we as a community were reminded of the men and women who went before us, who responded to God’s call to lead and serve. Now more than ever, during a pandemic wreaking havoc in so many ways, let us remember the faithfulness God has shown.  Last year, through reflection and celebration, we were reminded of the Lord’s faithfulness to Fresno Pacific and today we look to the future with anticipation of how he will use each of us for such a time as this. Even in these difficult and uncertain times in our country and world, our commitment to Christ and to the truth of God’s word is still the rock on which Fresno Pacific is built.

I’m grateful that as an institution we continue to provide opportunities for students from all walks of life to pursue new possibilities, to begin or strengthen their walk with the Lord and then encourage them to press on. We also have the unique opportunity, as a faith-based institution, to share with students our own stories of how the Lord has been faithful to us individually and as a university. As a community, we can be proud of, by God’s grace, what we have accomplished and welcome what is to come. As Hebrews 10:23 reminds us: “Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.” 

Connections
Rebecca Bradley

Rebecca Bradley

Director of Public Relations and Community Engagement