"Now the boy Samuel grew and was in favor both with the Lord and with men…and the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, ‘Samuel! Samuel!' Then Samuel answered, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.'"
I Samuel 2: 26, I Samuel 3: 10, Amplified Bible
"Out of the Mouth of Children"
"The wisdom of God belongs to children, merest children, before it belongs to adults, wise in religion and the ways of society and culture. Jesus gives thanks that this is the way God is revealed in the world through Him, His own child. Revelation is not first to the learned and clever but to the ones who don't count, the ones ignored in the street, the ones who are only useful as menial servants and slaves, as property. Remember, the Aramaic word for child and slave/servant is the same."
How do I treat those whom I don't think have the "qualifications" when they speak about their Father in heaven?
What if I had been in Eli's position, how would I have responded if Samuel had come to me and said he "heard a voice in the night"?
"What one loves in childhood stays in the heart forever."
Mary Jo Putney
"But (Jesus) said, ‘Leave the children alone! Allow the little ones to come to Me, and do not forbid or restrain or hinder them, for of such as these is the kingdom of heaven composed."
Matthew 19: 14, Amplified Bible
Just imagine being on a grassy hill and gazing into the beauty of God's creation. As you watch, a group of mothers, one-by-one, come to Jesus and ask Him to place His hands on their little ones.
Thinking that crying babies and pushy moms would be an annoyance to Jesus, we find the Son of God, chiding His disciples for their careless treatment of the very children Jesus said "composed" His kingdom.
As noted in one of our quotes today by Megan McKenna in her fabulous book, Not Counting Women and Children, Neglected Stories from the Bible, in the Aramaic language, the word child meant no more than a servant. Who in their right mind would pay attention to what a lowly servant would say?
Now, let's roll history backward to a time when women and children really didn't count. They weren't counted when Israel was numbered. They didn't count when it came to property ownership. And in the end, unless you were the eldest son, you didn't really count when you grew up.
Yet, at this very time in history, the Creator of the universe, God Himself, came to Eli and said, "For those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed" (I Samuel 2: 30). Then God went on to say that His promises were not given unconditionally to those who willfully disobeyed like Eli's sons. God told Eli that He would raise up a faithful priest, even if that person were a young boy. A child, no less!
So, in the middle of the night, God came to young Samuel and informed this servant child he was being called to be God's mouthpiece. Why? Samuel answered this question himself when he told his heavenly Father, "Your servant is listening." To this statement I want to say, "Praise God a child was listening for the voice of His Father during a time when everybody else was doing their own thing."
I found the words of Gerard A. Pottebaum extremely illuminating when he observed that rather than telling children what they are to hear and as adults trying to draw conclusions for children, we too often ritualize God's presence instead of letting children's spiritual life be a "source of inspiration for adults, as it must have been for Jesus, since He used children as the standard for determining who would enter the kingdom of heaven." And then the author penned these profound words of advice: "What a shame to undermine children's natural sense of awe and capacity for the priesthood of people - for being at home with God in the sanctuary of human experience."
Alone at night, in the sanctuary of God on earth, the young child Samuel, whose life had been implanted by his mother with the seeds of heaven, recognized that his heavenly Father had kept His promise and honored His word to Samuel's mother, and when this child heard God's voice calling out to him, he was listening and responded, for from his childhood he was raised to be a servant of the God of heaven and earth.
"For My Children"
"On this doorstep I stand year after year
and watch you leaving and think:
May you not skin your knees.
may you not catch your fingers in
May your hearts not break.
May tide and weather
wait for your coming
and may you grow strong."
"Soar, Child, Soar"
"Soar, Child, soar.
Soar to the bosom of your Father
from the birthing of your mother.
Grasp, my little one,
the warm hands of Jesus
to love and guide you
day by day.
Feed, my darling,
on the milk of the Spirit.
God's word and Presence
in our world today.
Be warmed and fed.
God, Father, Son and Spirit
be to thee and me
our clothing, guide, sustainer
Triune lover since eternity."
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $10.00.
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