I was watching "Super Nanny" a couple of weeks ago, and was moved by the story of this mom that seemed incapable of disciplining her children because she felt like she was being a bad mom if she said no to them or enforced rules. As a result, her children were completely out of control. So Super Nanny took the mom on a hike. Both mom and Super Nanny had knapsacks on, but Super Nanny had loaded the mom down with rocks inside her knap sack. In addition, every 30 feet or so Super Nanny would hand her another rock to carry. Finally, the exasperated mom, cried out I can't carry any more. I won't carry any more. Super Nanny opened the mom's knapsack and there written on the stones were words such as shame and perfection, etc...that encapsulated the expectations and burdens that were weighing the mom down and really keeping her from being a good mom. This story is a reflection of what we do in our lives as Christians. We allow others to put in our knapsack their expectations of us and sometimes we add our own expectations that are not of God. Defined, a knapsack is a piece of cloth strapped to our back carrying our personal belongings. It's important to remember as Believers what belongs to us. We have been given grace, freedom and the hope of heaven, let us not be encumbered with things such as shame, perfectionism and people-pleasing.
In addition, in the Bible when the Israelites had fought a victorious battle they were to make a memorial of stones to remind them that God had help them win. This memorial was called an Ebenezer. Today, we find people often memorializing their victimization rather than their God that has carried them through and is sustaining them. At women's retreat, we made an Ebenezer...it was a powerful moment when we acknowledged the battles we have won because of the power and help of our God. To God be the Glory. Great Things He has done!
"Here I raise my Ebenezer Here by Thy great help I've come And I hope by Thy good pleasure Safely to arrive at home" From the Hymn, Come Thou Fount
"Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying 'Thus far has the LORD helped us.'" 1 Samuel 7:23 Ebenezer=stone of help