Snapshots: Day 177
The Snapshot: “her face was no longer downcast” (1 Sam 1:18) She has prayed, she had been challenged over her tears, she has vindicated herself and she has been blessed by the priest and so now the tears are gone; she believes and now she is no longer downcast. Believing prayer. Believing in being blessed. Is that us? We have prayed, we catch a sense of the blessing of heaven upon us. Nothing else has changed, but that is enough. Now it is just a case of getting on receiving the outcome from heaven. Belief brings joy, joy casts away, tears, despondency, even the previous anguish. He has heard, He is answering, the change will come, “for the Lord has heard the voice of my weeping.” (Psa 6:8)
Further Consideration: How we respond to reassuring words from others is an indication of the state of our faith. Eli has just responded to her, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him,” (v.17) and that was sufficient for her. She has been blessed by him with those words. He may be a somewhat inadequate spiritual leader but he has basically blessed her, and for a woman with a good heart, that is enough.
Now you may think I am making heavy weather of this episode but actually the way people respond to such words can be many and varied and some of them are not good. I have watched for many years how people receive personal prophecy and sometimes when the Lord has spoken a beautiful word of encouragement or even vision for the future, I have seen the response that is summed up as, “Oh, that’s nice.” No it’s not nice, it’s wonderful! It’s like the person who has sat and heard the most powerful and uplifting sermon and go away saying, “I didn’t think much of him this morning.” What?
Jesus once taught, “do not throw your pearls to pigs,” (Mt 7:6) meaning don’t give what is precious spiritually to those who won’t appreciate it. The trouble is we have to do it every Sunday in the hope that somehow those precious words may find a good heart to lodge in. In the Snapshot we majored on the faith we need to have when we have prayed but now we’ve taken it on to the faith we need to have when we have received a response to our praying, or any other form of word that comes from the Lord. But I wonder when we have prayed urgently for something, have we then heard some word of assurance from heaven because although the Lord does sometimes appear to remain silent, I believe more often He wants to bring an inner assurance when we have prayed. We see it again and again in the psalms when David has poured out his anguish and then suddenly he pivots and is speaking out in faith as he has caught something from heaven and he has grabbed that and responded in faith. May that be our experience as well.