May 31, 2014
Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.”
Psalm 84: 11
“I saw and knew that God’s marvelous and utter goodness brings our powers to their full strength. At the same time I saw that He is at work unceasingly in every conceivable thing, and that it is far greater than anything we can imagine, or guess, or think. Then we can do no more than gaze in delight with a tremendous desire…and to delight in His goodness.”
Julian of Norwich
Today’s Study Text:
“My horn (my strength) is lifted up in the Lord.”
I Samuel 2: 1
What Our Prayers Reveal About Us
“Lift Up Your Horn and Blow It”
“The degree of our faith
is the degree of our prayer.
The strength of our hope
is the strength of our prayer.
The warmth of our charity
is the warmth of our prayer.”
What does it mean to me to have “strength in God?”
Have I had an experience in my life when during a time of weakness I felt God’s strength giving me the courage I needed to go forward each day?
“It is not armor as armor, but as armor of God, that makes the soul impregnable.”
“(She) goes from strength to strength.”
Psalm 84: 7
When I was young, I wanted to learn to play a musical instrument which would make it possible for me to be in our grade school band. I tried several different instruments and finally settled on the flute. One of the reasons was that while it took strength to make a sound come out of the long cylindrical tube that is a flute, playing this instrument was much easier than playing a French horn, for example. As our experienced band leader told us, “You have to have a solid core and strong lungs to push air through a French horn.”
How interesting it is to have a text in Scripture, like our passage today, which directly refers to a “horn” and “strength.” It seems our heroine in I Samuel, Hannah, completely understood that the horn of her life took more than her own strength to make any sound at all, for she referred to the fact that the “horn of her strength” was from God. Hannah knew the power in her life came from her Father. He provided a strong center which she was able to rely on during the best and worst times of her life.
Recently, I was reading a biography on the lives of the Bronte sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne. Life was short for these English girls whose mother died when they were very young children and whose father remained a distant parent their entire lives.
While some of their literary works are dark and despairing, there is a deeply spiritual thread which runs through many of the writings they left behind.
Anne Bronte, who died when she was just 29-years-old, penned these words which are entitled, “Strength Within”:
“I feel that I am weak,
And prone to every sin;
But Thou who gives to those who seek,
Wilt give me strength within.”
The truth expressed by Anne Bronte that the strength from within comes from our heavenly Father, is one Hannah certainly exemplified in her own life. Tossed to the ground in despair, she arose to stand and pray before her Father, confessing that He was the one who gave her the strength to blow her horn and make joyful music in her Father’s name.
With a strong powerful core, she blew her horn strongly and proclaimed the joy of the Lord. May you and I do the same.
“Circle me O God
Keep strength within
Keep weakness out.”
“Dear Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ,
I hold up all my weakness to Your strength,
My failure to Your faithfulness,
My sinfulness to Your perfection,
My loneliness to Your compassion,
My little pains to Your great agony on the cross.
I pray that you will cleanse me,
strengthen me, and hide me, so that, in all ways,
my life may be lived for You alone.”
Mother Janet Stuart
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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