April 13th, 2011 by Dale Fincher
The ancient nation of Israel cries forth songs of help.
As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the LORD our God,
till he shows us his mercy. (Psalm 123:2)
In their distress they cry out. They know the One on whom they call. They know He has the ability and character to keep them safe.
Lady Lucia, my Pembroke Welch Corgi, is a bundle of lessons. Through her eyes I’m sometimes able to see more clearly through my own. She offers an analogy to help in hearing the Master’s voice.
Now, when Lady Lucia was just a puppy, she became terrified of two things immediately: my guitar and the vacuum cleaner. The former may have frightened her because of my never-perfect strumming. Who knows? Perhaps dogs have a special ear for good music. But her fear of the latter, the machine that roars about the house in zig-zag patterns, really set her off. Even last week while I was vacuuming the house, she bolted in fright through the cat-door and broke the hinges.
“Behold the eyes of the servants look to the hand of their master.” Even though she is terrified by the instrument in her master’s hand, she knows her master’s voice. When the house is cleaned, I go outside and call her near. Her head lowers; her ears tuck; she meekly approaches and lies at my feet. She knows that while the vacuum may look big and scary, there is something about the master that is trustworthy and comforting.
This perspective can help us with our problems of pain and distress. When we find ourselves in the dark, we have two alternatives: we either take the advice of Job’s wife-curse God and die-or we give our prayers and our songs to the Lord on High who is our light and our salvation.
The atheist has no answer to the problem of pain. She rebukes a God who allows it, and she is left in the poverty of her distress. But for the Christian, the Lord is ever near. And while we are sometimes left without specific answers regarding our struggles, we know we have a God who hears us, who will be “gracious to us.” Even more, we have a God who not only hears, but embodies Himself in the person of Jesus and steals the ultimate sting of suffering and death. Because Christ went through the Cross, we can diligently walk in the hope before us.
Sometimes it is difficult to hear the voice of God when we reach an existential crisis. Yet, by heading His voice when we hear it clearly, we will know how and why to run to Him when His voice feels further off. It is developing the habit of hearing and growing in affection at the Master’s gentle tone that will bear us into the safe places in our Father’s House.
As the writer of Hebrews says, “God has said,
‘Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.’
So we say with confidence,
‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?’