Sunday, January 18, 2009

Here I am

1 Samuel 3:1-10, (11-20), Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18, 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, John 1:43-51

When we are lost, say in a mall or out camping, we are taught to identify ourselves by shouting "here I am!" to direct the path of the searching party or person. When we are in class, as the roll is being called, we say, "Here!", a shorter version of "here I am!", when our name is called to let the teacher know we are present and attentive.

But we don't have to tell God where we are, He already knows. He made us in His own image and He watches our every move. He is there for the good times and the bad. We are never lost from God.

There are times when we stray away from His teachings. We may perceive that we are lost, out of touch with God. I remember when the Columbine shootings happened and how everyone felt that day. One U.S. Congressman proclaimed that this tragedy happened because God was not present in the school anymore, that we had shut Him out. Obviously, the politician did not know that not only was God present, but He offered us all a testimony of faith to learn from.

When one of the shooters came upon a classmate, he commanded that student to renounce God and he would spare his life. The student responded with the Lord's Prayer and was killed. When the shooter approached another student with the same proposition, she recited the 23rd Psalm and was killed also.

Those children were not lost to God, nor was God absent. In tough times, we are actually closer to God than one would think. We are His creation, a temple to the Holy Spirit. If we had something that valuable, we would keep tabs on where it is at all times, sometimes even putting it in a safe place. So why would we think that God would lose tabs on us?

He has so much love for us that He did not hide us in Heaven. He put us here to make a difference in this unsafe place for all to see the glory of His creation. Because we are so wonderfully made, we can survive in this wilderness we call the world and never be lost from God. We can make this claim because we have faith. Those victims of Columbine did not see God amidst all that carnage, but they had their spiritual GPS, their strong, abiding faith, and they knew that God was with them.

Therefore in the future, never feel compelled to say "here I am!" when trouble comes your way, or you feel distant from God. Instead, follow the example of Martin Luther, who said, "Here I stand, so help me God!" Then be still and let God give you His peace and understanding.