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Good Morning MVC · March 31stby David Miles on March 31, 2020
I hope you and your families are well today. Are you finding ways to occupy your time? Are you trying recipes, working on puzzles, listening to your favorite music? I hope you’re finding ways to stay connected to the ones you love. My daughter Ella has been writing emails back and forth with friends from church. They have become pen pals of sorts. We have also been enjoying a great deal of Facetime, Google Duo, Zoom and good old fashion phone calls.
One of the things I’ve been thinking about is that there is something incredibly comforting in hearing the voice of someone you are familiar with, and especially the voice of someone you love. Hearing the familiar voice of someone you shared a good time with takes you back to that place. Perhaps it’s not even someone you personally know well but a personality of sorts that brought you comfort. Perhaps it’s a particular singer, or sportscaster, a news anchor that talked you through a trying time. Perhaps it’s an iconic voice like that of Walter Cronkite.
During World War II FDR gave his fireside chats, to share updates and information, but his tone and confidence also helped to put a person’s mind at ease. Similarly, during the early 1940s in England, a man by the name of Clive gave a series of talks on faith. They were called “broadcast talks.” These talks were in fact so popular that they were compiled into a book that many of you are familiar with. The book is called Mere Christianity and it was written by Clive Staples Lewis.
As I have personally reflected on the voices that comfort me, the story of Samuel came to mind. In 1 Samuel chapter 3, Samuel while serving under the priest Eli hears a voice in the night calling his name. After hearing the voice he gets up and goes to Eli thinking it was he who was calling him. Eli assures him this is not the case and sends him back to bed. A second time Samuel hears someone calling his name and he returns to Eli. But once again Eli denies calling him and sends him back. For a third time, Samuel hears his name being called and he visits Eli. This time Eli the priest understands that it is in fact God calling Samuel and so he sends him back to his bed and instructs him to reply the next time he hears the voice by saying, “speak for your servant is listening.” Once again Samuel hears his name and responses as instructed and God begins to speak to Samuel.
In the early days of serving with Eli, Samuel knew who God was but he wasn’t familiar with his voice. He didn’t know God personally. It took this encounter and the wisdom of Eli to help Samuel know what God sounds like.
For many of us just like Samuel, it can be challenging to discern the voice of God and yet, when we grow in relationship with him through the study of scripture, prayer, conversations of faith with other brothers and sisters in Christ, we grow in our ability to hear the voice of the Lord. And in times like we are facing today, there is no more comforting voice to hear. It is a voice that audible or not brings a sense of peace. It is a voice that reassures. It is a voice that brings joy and hope.
And so today as we continue to navigate the unknown, let me encourage you to listen for the voice of God. May it put your heart and mind at ease and may you rest in the knowledge that the God of all creation cares enough about you to speak directly to you and remind you of His goodness and love.