“Thus far, the Lord has helped us”

 (1 Sam. 7:12, NIV)

This morning, I had a moment.  A flashback while down on my knees praying for my children on this first day of school.  All of a sudden, instead of picturing them as they are now, I saw them in our living room back in Nashville next to the play pen and the “Johnny Jump Up” that swung between our kitchen and dining room door.  Toddler toys were strewn everywhere… and at that moment, I never could have didn’t have the capacity to imagine this particular day.

For the early years of their lives, I begged God {in a semi-serious way} to send Jesus back for all of us before my oldest child turned ten.  I just couldn’t imagine navigating the teen years in today’s world.  But, as you obviously know, He didn’t indulge me. 😉  So as millions of moms before me have done, and as many of you may have done, I entered into the teen years of mothering with fear and trembling.

But God…

There is always a “But God…” in every situation.

But God… Though He did not rescue the world before Nathan’s 10th birthday, He has “helped us thus far” ~ and this day will go down in my own spiritual history as an “Ebenezer” of sorts.  (1 Samuel 7:10-13)  “Thus far, the Lord has helped us” through each stage of life in rearing the children He entrusted to us.  Obviously, neither they nor we are perfect, and the path has not been without its bumps and twists and hills and valleys.  But God… thus far, the Lord has been our Help, their Helper, and praise His Name – we know that He will continue to be our Help because He always completes what He starts! (Philippians 1:6)

So today, we lay another stone marker {Ebenezer} in our family’s history.  Our baby started High School.  Now both of our children are in High School, and the countdown clock that marks their remaining continual days and nights under this roof is officially ticking in my heart.  We still have some time and I want to make the very most of it.  That is… unless the Lord has other plans for our family.  And He may…. I don’t know.  In fact, just today, two hours after kissing my own grown babies goodbye, I attended a memorial service for someone’s son who is the same age as my son.  Time.  This grieving family thought they had some time left too.

None of us knows what tomorrow (or even the next hour) holds.  There’s just one thing those of us who seek the Lord do know and can boldly say about this moment:  “Thus far, the Lord has helped us.” 

Or as The Message says it, “This marks the place where God helped us.”  1 Sam. 7:12 (MSG)

Today, each of us can look back on the situations of our lives and give the same testimony.  This day… this place… this moment – what ever it is that we’re in – Today we can set up a spiritual stone ~ an Ebenezer ~ which  “marks the place where God helped us.”  And if God has helped us thus far, we can be assured that He will continue to keep His Word and will help us in all of our tomorrows. 

“My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip or to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.”  Psalm 121:2-3

So though that countdown clock is ticking in my ears, it is with a God-confident heart that I can think about and pray for my children today {and tomorrow and every day for as long as they live}. Despite their choices and the trials of life they (we) will inevitably face, “thus far, the Lord has helped us” and again today, I entrust Nathan and Abigail into His Faithful hands.

PS: I’ll definitely be praying this for them.  Need a way to pray for the little children dear to your heart?  Pray with me from some lessons learned from Baby Moses and his Mom.

About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two college kids, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at SmellingCoffee.com


  1. Love this post Jennifer. And, although…we have JUST enetered the empty nest season…..your post truly touched my heart!!

    Praying you have an amazing day.

  2. Jen…. This post made my heart melt. We are winding down the last days of summer and your words spoke straight into my heart. Thank you!

    I love the pictures of Abigail and Nathan…. I cannot believe how grown~up they are getting. Beautiful!

    With love and hugs….