Here I am! Guard my steps!

Today the Bible opened to the book of Samuel on the same page where Samuel tells God “Here I am.”  Very fitting after yesterday’s adventure.

But where my eyes were directed was to Hannah’s prayer after God blessed her with Samuel:

My heart exults in the LORD, my horn is exalted by my God. I have swallowed up my enemies; I rejoice in your victory.

There is no Holy One like the LORD; there is no Rock like our God.  Speak boastfully no longer, Do not let arrogance issue from your mouths. For an all-knowing God is the LORD, a God who weighs actions.

1 Samuel 2:1-3

My heart exults in the Lord!  I wasn’t sure I knew exactly what the word exult means (as I do not commonly use it or hear it outside of the church setting), so I looked it up.  Exult means to show or feel elation or jubilation, especially as the result of a success; to leap for joy; to be extremely joyful.  And now I can say with confidence, my heart too exults in the Lord.  My face beams when I think of his goodness.

I am sitting out in God’s beautiful nature feeling the warm breeze rustle the leaves and hearing the cicadas and birds exulting God with their sounds.  There is nothing that I can do to compare to the wonder and power of God.  There is no room for boasting from those of us on earth.  Hannah states that she has swallowed up her enemies.  Pride is my enemy.  I must swallow it up!  For God is my only rock.  There is no one holy like the Lord.

Hannah’s prayer continues:

The LORD puts to death and gives life, casts down to Sheol and brings up again.  The LORD makes poor and makes rich, humbles, and also exalts. He raises the needy from the dust; from the ash heap lifts up the poor, To seat them with nobles and make a glorious throne their heritage.

For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s, and he has set the world upon them. He guards the footsteps of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall perish in the darkness; for not by strength does one prevail.

1 Samuel 2:6-9

God gives us life and death. He raises us back up again.  He humbles us but also exalts us.  He knows what we need and when we need it.  Sometimes we need to be humbled.  Sometimes we need to be brought to the depths so that we can appreciate when we rise again, so that our faith can be strengthened.

God sets a path for us.  But He has given us free choice to  decide where our feet take us.  God guards the footsteps of his faithful ones.  Even when we misstep, he is there beside us.  Guarding us.  Calling us back so we do not stray too far.  But we must have faith.  It is not human strength that prevails.  It is not human strength that survives.  It is faith and the strong in faith who prevail.

I exult in you O Lord!  You have created this beautiful earth.  You have given us the entire world.  I can never be worthy of your goodness. But, here I am, God!  I hear you calling.  Guard my steps.  Keep me safe!

 

 

 

 

Here I am

How do you know when God is speaking to you?  I think about this often.  Is it my thought and desire or is it God’s?

Today the Bible opened to Samuel:

The LORD called to Samuel, who answered, “Here I am.”  He ran to Eli and said, “Here I am. You called me.” “I did not call you,” Eli answered. “Go back to sleep.” So he went back to sleep.  Again the LORD called Samuel, who rose and went to Eli. “Here I am,” he said. “You called me.” But he answered, “I did not call you, my son. Go back to sleep.”

Samuel did not yet recognize the LORD, since the word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.  The LORD called Samuel again, for the third time. Getting up and going to Eli, he said, “Here I am. You called me.” Then Eli understood that the LORD was calling the youth.  So he said to Samuel, “Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’” When Samuel went to sleep in his place, the LORD came and stood there, calling out as before: Samuel, Samuel! Samuel answered, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

1 Samuel 3:4-10

Samuel was sleeping when God first called him.  In other words, he was quiet.  He was still.  In today’s world, I find it hard to hear God — there is so much other noise and distraction.  Finding time to be quiet and to listen is a challenge.  I am sure God is speaking and we are missing it.

Here I am, Lord!

Your servant is listening.  Help me to take time to be quiet, to be still.  Help me to listen.   I want to hear.  I want to follow.  I want to serve.