“So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. Then Eli said, “He is the LORD; let him do what is good in his eyes.’”
1 Samuel 3:18
Through the darkness that surrounds, whether temporal or spiritual, the voice of the Lord breaks through to call upon His children, to lead them, to guide them, to protect and to shelter them, to prepare them for a world that they, often times will little understand and that can shake the very basis of their faith. Shaping and molding His people, He moves in the most mysterious of ways, coming unto them in the most unlikely of times to reveal Himself to them in the most unusual of ways, His words shattering the world as it is known to re-make and re-shape perceptions of reality and the base understanding of the human mind.
Though it can bring fear when that voice is heard, though it can confuse and bewilder the mind, it is to be listened to and taken heed of for, though at the time it may not be seen, He moves for the good of His children in all that they are, and all that they face, in all the struggles that are before them and all the difficulties that would befall them.
Perhaps, at times, that’s hard to see in a world so prone to sin and iniquity. There is darkness that surrounds people, that encompasses them, swallowing them whole amidst the bitter captivity and the brutal slavery, the extreme destitution and the hateful oppression that comes upon them. Tyranny and persecution come so near, crushing the spirit and the soul, breaking the heart as hope is shattered and peace is lost.
This is why though...
This is why God calls unto His children in the faith that He has laid out for them and the grace that He has intended for them. It is so they can dwell in the love and the compassion, the mercy and the righteousness of His Spirit, as He sets them apart to do what is good and faithful in His eyes, standing for His liberty and His truth in a world that so often brings hurt and sorrow.
Like Samuel each of us, we need to listen for the voice of the Lord coming unto us, calling unto us, that we may answer as he did, “Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening” so that we may hear what He has to tell us that we may do what is right and good in His eyes as we are called, in love, to struggle for the cause of all who suffer amidst persecution and oppression, poverty and destitution, slavery and captivity. We must answer “Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening” that He may reveal unto us how He will use us for the betterment of our fellow man even when the struggle is great and the challenges are overwhelming, because He will forge us in the fires of His love that we may do what is right and good in His eyes, making us more than we are, giving us more strength than we could have ever imagined that His will may be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
Perhaps we may not understand that voice at first, perhaps it may seem a bit distant to us, perhaps it may confuse us or bewilder us, but through God’s love it does come. Ours must be, in faithfulness, to listen and to obey, ours must be to see God in everything and hear Him at all times, knowing that, even in the smallest of ways, God will use us to show the greatest of love unto our fellow man as His mercy and compassion is revealed unto the world by His Spirit moving through us as we contend for the cause of those who are in need or trouble.
Lord, grant this unto us all.
Let us pray:
In our distress we call upon You, our Lord and our Deliverer....
In our plights we cry out unto You, our Lord and our Shield...
In our anguish we trust in You, our Lord and our Hope, our ever present help in all dangers...
Answer our prayers.... hear our humble supplications and lift Your hand amidst this lost and fallen world, setting to flight all captivity and bondage, all darkness and oppression that, amidst Your hope, Your children shall come to dwell in Your peace.
In wonders of Your miracles we lift our praises and rejoice in Your holy name for the release of the four United Nations Peacekeepers who had been kidnapped in Darfur. Their struggle is over, their bondage is ended, their captivity has been set to flight as they have been restored unto their homes to heal from the pain that has been inflicted on them. Through You they were given the strength and the endurance to persevere. Unto all of Your children who suffer as hostages and prisoners, captives and slaves, give the same strength and bestow the same blessings, setting them free amidst the liberty that can only come from You.
Give unto us, Your servants, the strength to lift high the plight and the struggle, the challenges and the adversity facing those who find themselves now in this the grimmest of estates, that we may, with Your light and Your love, fight against the darkness that encompasses their lives, seeking justice for them even as it feels as if the hope has been robbed from their lives. Show us Your ways, call unto us with Your voice that we may be led down Your path that we may do Your good in this world for the cause of those who suffer.
Then shall Your grace be made manifest through this world as Your children are edified and uplifted in Your compassion and mercy and Your will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven for the betterment of all people in the faithfulness of Your promises.
In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.