What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Friday, December 30, 2016

"Thus Far The Lord Has Helped Us" ~ Last Friday Foto Friends for 2016!

"Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between 
Mizpah and Shen, 
and called its name Ebenezer, saying, 
'Thus far the Lord has helped us.'"  
I Samuel 7:12

As we come to the end of another year, can we look back and say with Samuel, "Thus far the Lord has helped us?"  I don't know what you've been through during the past year...perhaps there has been  sickness, sorrow, disappointment...or maybe you've actually been blessed with good news...happy occasions and times of great joy.  Most likely, if we would be honest with ourselves, we've probably had some of each...the good times, and the bad times.  But can we see the hand of the Lord in the midst of it all?  Have you felt His Presence beside you, undergirding you, giving you strength for the tasks ahead?

The picture below was taken one morning this week as my hubby and I took our early morning walk...in the fog on this particular day.


As I looked to the east I could see the sun trying to break through the fog...but as I looked ahead it appeared that we were walking deeper into the mist...into the unknown...



And it occurred to me that this is where we are on these last days of 2016...walking into the unknown days ahead of 2017.  The current events of the world are enough to cause us to pause and wonder just what truly may lie ahead.  Kind of a "Closed Doors-Open Window" event, huh? 


The Old King James version of I Samuel 7:12 uses the word "hitherto" in place of "thus far".  When we say "hitherto", we most likely think of the past experiences only.  But "hitherto", or "thus far" is not the end.  It merely means that we've come this far...but we are still moving forward.  

In the little daily devotional book, Streams In The Desert, by Mrs. Chas. E. Cowman, it is stated in the reading for December 31st the following:

"For when a man gets up to a certain mark, and writes "hitherto," he is not yet at the end; there are still distances to be traversed.  More trials, more joys; more temptations, more triumphs; more prayers, more answers; more toils, more strength; more fights, more victories; and then come sickness, old age, disease, death.
Is it over now? No! There is more yet-awakening in Jesus' likeness, thrones, harps, songs, psalms, white raiment, the face of Jesus, the society of saints, the glory of God, the fullness of eternity, the infinity of bliss.  Oh, be of good courage, believer, and with grateful confidence raise thy "Ebenezer," for,
      "He who hath helped thee hitherto will help thee all thy journey through."
According to this same little devotional, it is stated that
"The Alpine shepherds have a beautiful custom of ending the day by singing to one another an evening farewell.  The air is so crystalline that the song will carry long distances.  As the dusk begins to fall, they gather their flocks and begin to lead them down the mountain paths, singing,
 "Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.  Let us praise His name!"
"And at last with a sweet courtesy, they sing to one another the friendly farewell: 'Goodnight! Goodnight!'  The words are taken up by the echoes, and from side to side the song goes reverberating sweetly and softly until the music dies away in the distance." 
Beautiful Sunset on Christmas Day

As we approach the final hours of 2016, can we sing and echo across the miles to one another:

"Hitherto hath the Lord helped us. 
Let us praise His name!" 
"Goodnight! Goodnight!"

And may our song reverberate around the world and into the New Year...encouraging us as we face the unknown future ahead of us...and give us 

Hope ornament from my Christmas tree

Let us now mark this moment in time with our "Ebenezer", a stone of remembrance commemorating that "Thus far the Lord has helped us", and look forward with great hope...that as surely as God was with us in the past, He will go forward with us into our future.
Happy New Year!! 

Linking up today with Deb and our friends for Friday Foto Friends.  Click HERE to visit with others to see what special fotos  and messages they may be sharing today. 

23 comments:

  1. I'm always blessed when I visit here Pamela! I love your morning and especially your fog photos. Thank you for sharing my friend. May the beginning of a new year bring you many blessings and joy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Toni! I am so happy that you came along and enjoyed this early morning foggy walk with me. Even though we cannot see what the future may hold, we know WHO holds our future, and therefore we have HOPE!! Blessings to you in the upcoming new year!

      Delete
  2. This was beautiful, Pamela!

    He has helped us so far... :) There's so much HOPE and promise in that! Thank you.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes...because our God is an unchanging God...as He has helped us "hitherto", He will continue to carry us and help us all the way through. Therefore, we do have hope and need not fear what the future may hold. God is with us!

      Delete
  3. The path in the fog photo is soothing. In the past week I have been envisioning a curving path and anticipate embracing grace in the new year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahh, my friend...Grace was my "One Word" for 2016...and God was truly gracious unto me and taught me so much about His wonderful grace. I know your journey into embracing grace in the new year will be a wonder-filled journey. And God will meet you there...and give you the grace you need for each new day. I wrote about the bend in the road here not too long ago: http://pamelasopenwindow.blogspot.com/2016/10/the-bend-in-road.html What is wonderful is that God is with us no matter which way our path may go. Blessings and GRACE to you my friend!

      Delete
  4. What a lovely devotion for us as we go through these last couple of days of 2016. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know your New Year is going to be filled with many surprises and joys! So excited for you! Retirement, moving...new adventures! Praying that God will give you strength and wisdom and joy for the journey!

      Delete
  5. Thank you for the reminders of the fact that God has been with us through the good times and the not so good times. Happy New Year and may God continue to bless you and yours,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And may you continue to feel God's Presence in your life each new day...through those good times and difficult days. He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us...and "hitherto" He has proven it is true!!

      Delete
  6. What a wonderful message. Yes, there seem to always be stumbles in our life, the wonderful thing is God's hand is always there to help us up. I may have shared this with you before, but it's my go-to scripture, it helps me through the bad times and always takes me to the good times. It sure helps me when I think of all the issues in our country and in our world. Happy New Year sweet lady!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it wonderful how God directs our eyes to His Word...the hope and promises that He has there for us to embrace and gather strength from? I love this fellowship of friends we have here...such a delightful blessing even if it is in cyberspace...I feel it right inside my heart as well. We are one in the Lord...and have many things ahead to look forward to. Happy New Year to you and yours as well.

      Delete
  7. Beautiful as always, Pam. Love the Christmas Day sunset. Happy New Year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Melanie. God gives us all things to enjoy...like sunsets and foggy days...and He is here with us in the sunshine and the fog. I know you are kind of in a foggy place right now...but the beautiful thing is God's sunshine always breaks through right on time. Praying for you and your mother daily.

      Delete
  8. Yes, the Lord has been there, helping us every step of the way. Hope you will visit my blog this coming Tuesday regarding my word for the year and the incredible hope it is bringing to me.
    Blessings and love in the New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Martha Jane. I will look forward to seeing what the Lord is speaking to you regarding your word for 2017. Isn't it exciting when we see how the Lord loves to get involved in our day to day lives...even here where we write...He is here, Present...and wanting to be revealed to others as we speak. Thank you for your kind thoughts always. Happy New Year!

      Delete
  9. Awesome post! This was written beautifully, just beautifully. Excellent verse excellent photo's excellent thoughts.
    I'm so thankful I found your lovely blog.๐Ÿ˜Š

    Enjoy your weekend as you bring in the New Year ~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Debbie! You truly know how to encourage my heart! Thank you for your kind words. I am so glad you stopped by. You are a blessing to me. May your New Year be filled with joy and blessing!

      Delete
  10. Awesome post! This was written beautifully, just beautifully. Excellent verse excellent photo's excellent thoughts.
    I'm so thankful I found your lovely blog.๐Ÿ˜Š

    Enjoy your weekend as you bring in the New Year ~

    ReplyDelete
  11. Stopped by to wish you a Blessed and healthy beginning of a New Year dear Pamela!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Toni! So far so good! I pray that your New Year will be joyous and filled with good things and many blessings.

      Delete
  12. Dank je wel. Zo mooi. Thank you so much. It touches me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jedidja! I always enjoy hearing from you. Have a blessed and happy New Year!

      Delete

Thank you for visiting here today. I would love for you to sign my guestbook and let me know you stopped by. I always enjoy reading your comments and words of encouragement! May you be blessed as you go on your way. Please come back and visit again soon.