We invite you to peek inside our weekly Light for the Way devotional series provided for staff.
By Chaplain Jenny Schroedel, Optage Hospice
“Samuel took a stone and set it up…and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, ‘Till now the Lord has helped us.’” —1 Samuel 7:12, NIV
When my best friend’s dad died, she wanted only one of his possessions: a smooth, flat stone, about the size of a human heart. Her dad found it as a child in Ohio when his family was excavating. He kept it all his life, theorizing that the edges were made smooth by glaciers moving over the Great Lakes region. My friend got that stone and called it her Ebenezer.
Ebenezer can be translated from the Hebrew as ‘stone of help.’ The name comes from this verse in 1 Samuel. As the Philistines attacked the Israelites, Samuel cried out to God for them. God then intervened – with a roar-like thunder that confused the Philistines and helped the Israelites fend them off.
Afterward, Samuel did something unexpected: he set a stone on the ground to remember God’s faithfulness through a terrible battle. Current Israelites and future generations could see the stone and remember the story of how God had helped them.
Our own terrible battles rage on, across our country, at our communities, and in our own lives and families. We all struggle, in visible and invisible ways. When the battle is fierce and the future unknown, we need to find ways to remember what we most need to know: until now, the Lord has helped us, and He will see us through.
Concluding PHS staff prayer:
Lord, we give you all that we are this day. Please brush away any weariness, so that we may be inspired in our work. Help us to discover new ways to reveal your love to all we meet. Keep our minds clear and focused on all we need to achieve, and give us the wisdom to overcome difficulties and find solutions. We now lift up our joys and concerns for prayer. We look to you and trust you are with us this day. Amen.
Optage Hospice Chaplain Jenny Schroedel facilitates grief groups across PHS sites and in the larger community. She lived in Hawaii for a decade, before returning home to Minnesota. In Hawaii she worked as Director of Bereavement Services and helped found Hospice of Kona’s Maluihi Grief Center. Jenny is also an author, most recently of
Naming The Child: Hope-filled Reflections on Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Death.
The Light for the Way series provides staff with an examination of a biblical reading to deepen our focus on scripture. Thank you for engaging with this series as we seek wisdom through prayer and reflection as a Christian Ministry.
Find more in the Light for the Way series:
Listening for God’s voice in all creation
Becoming springs in a parched world
Get to know us: a Christian ministry
Introducing Light for the Way, a new devotional series
In addition to Light for the Way,
you can find reflections, devotions, music and other resources on the Pastoral Care resources website