VERSE: “And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision.” 1 Samuel 3:15
OSWALD: “God never speaks to us in startling ways, but in ways that are easy to misunderstand, and we say, ‘I wonder if that is God’s voice?’ Isaiah said that the Lord spake to him ‘with a strong hand,’ that is, by the pressure of circumstances. Nothing touches our lives but it is God Himself speaking. Do we discern His hand or only mere occurrence?” (January 30th)
MY THOUGHT: Have you ever had God speak to you through the “strong hand” of circumstances? I have. It isn’t a comfortable place to be. It feels restrictive and often, confusing. I feel certain God must be as upset as I by the injustice of my situation, so I spend most of my time complaining and trying to escape rather than pause a moment to find out what God might want to do in the midst of my difficulty.
“Get into the habit of saying, ‘Speak, Lord,’” Oswald writes, “and life will become a romance.”
I love that line. Rather than rebuking my situation or immediately going into fix-it mode, I’m invited to a romance. An adventure of trust. A love-affair with my God that grows deeper as I learn to look to Him in everything. After all, the best stories, involve obstacles to be overcome. And love grows best when tested.
I want to learn how to say, “Speak, Lord” when circumstances press, and “make time to listen,” as Oswald suggests. Though fear shouts to do something – anything and right now! – to run, to freak out, to get angry, to get even; instead, I’m invited to stop and lift my eyes to God. Stilling my heart to hear what He might say. What directions He might give. What perspective He might share. What gift might lie in the middle of my circumstance if I only had eyes to see.
“Speak, Lord.” With these two simple words, a little boy named Samuel began his romance with God. And in return, God used that little boy to further His love affair with humanity.
Imagine what God might do with you and me if, rather than resisting the pressure of circumstances, we understood that “nothing touches our lives but it is God Himself speaking.” With that in mind, I think we’d begin embracing our circumstances rather than resenting them.
Allowing God to do whatever He wants in us, whenever and however He wants to do it.