Samuel then took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer (which means “the stone of help”), for he said, “Up to this point the Lord has helped us!” 1 Samuel 7:12
“Bring a stone to class next week.”
As I read the request from my graduate school professor, I was curious what it was for, but I knew immediately what stone I would bring. Just a few years earlier, I was sitting in our home, fighting back tears as I prayed for our business. It seemed just when we took one step forward, we took ten steps backward. As I was pouring out my heart to the Lord, my four-year-old son came in my bedroom and announced, “Mom, I have a pwesent for you!” The present was a small stone he had found in our back yard. I did what any loving mom would do and said, “Oh, thank you, honey,” and tucked it away in a box.
I pulled out that stone that was given to me in a moment of darkness and I brought it to class. We were learning about anxiety in this counseling class and the stones were used to walk through a therapeutic exercise called, “The Confidence Stone.”
The Confidence Stone exercise begins by picking a stone that is symbolic or painting something on the stone that brings you joy. The goal of the exercise is to learn and utilize mindfulness behaviors, practice deep breathing exercises, and tolerate anxiety-provoking activities rather than avoiding them.
This stone was to serve as a physical symbol that we are not designed to carry anxiety. Instead of avoiding anxiety-inducing activities, we can bring the stone with us to serve as a reminder to be mindful through deep breathing and cast our cares upon the stone.
The book that taught this technique was secular, but I immediately saw the connection between anxiety and our cornerstone, Jesus Christ.
The Bible is full of references to stones, one of which is as a place of remembrance of what the Lord had done or spoken.
In 1 Samuel, the Israelites were battling for their lives as the Philistines were moving into attack. I imagine the people were struck with fear, worry, anxiety, and trembling. Perhaps they even doubted that God would help.
But Samuel took his place as their leader, stood his ground, and used the stone as a reminder that God had helped them before, and He would help them again.
Do you have a situation in your life that seems hopeless? Does it cause you to worry and create anxiety so tangible that you have a hard time remembering God is in control?
You are not alone, my friend.
The good news is that God has been faithful before and He will be faithful again.
Our confidence comes from the Lord. 1 Peter 5:7 reminds us to cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.
Cast your anxiety on THE stone, Jesus Christ. He was designed to carry it.
Jesus is our confidence stone.
Click here to watch the video I recorded on the therapeutic exercise that goes with this illustration.