John 12:28-30 – [Jesus said,] "Father glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again." The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him. Jesus said, "This voice was for your benefit, not mine." (NIV)
As much as I'd like to be a "ray of sunshine" or "a babbling brook" all the time in my Christian walk, I must confess that I have my periods of darkness. During these "dark nights of the soul", I've learned to identify with Saul (the apostle Paul before he became a Christian). After Jesus' death and resurrection, he eventually went into an inner war between what he wanted to be and what another power (Christ) wanted him to be. Saul began persecuting the Christians, gaining permission to make it legal to do so. He was a man who gave his all to what he believed. Until Christ struck him down on the Damascus Road, he was totally focused on his desire to wipe out this new power that threatened to destroy the faith that he knew. After he became a Christian, he was totally focused on Christ.
Acts 9:4 – He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" (NIV)
This period in Saul's life was necessary for his conversion and growth. Others did not understand Saul's actions. Neither did he, but when the voice spoke to him on the way to Damascus, he recognized it. His life was changed from that day forth.
How focused are we in our faith? If the voice spoke to us today, would we recognize it or say that it had thundered?
Prayer: Father, lead us through our darkness and help us to recognize Your voice when it speaks, instead of hearing the distant roll of thunder. Help us to focus on Your voice and listen to what it says. Amen.
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