Journal Entry // July 14, 2022
So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. And he said, “It is the LORD. Let him do what seems good to him.” (ESV)1 Samuel 3:18
The humility of Eli is a tremendous example of what it means to understand the magnificence and sovereignty of the Lord. In the moment of hearing the judgement of God against him and his family, Eli dies not turn bitter or angry. He does not blame shift and deflect to the failings of others. He does not rationalize and try to make excuses. No, he simply acknowledges that the Lord God is sovereign over all. Eli humbles himself before the wisdom of God. He may not like the “bad” circumstances and adversity that is about to be brought into his life, but his answer is to trust in the goodness of God.
When things fall apart and circumstances seem to be going against me, I am quick to find someone to blame. I am instantly scanning for someone that I can look upon as the culprit or reason for my misfortune. It is far too easy to blame others for the misfortune that befalls me. This is nothing but pride and arrogance rearing its ugly head and pulling me away from Christ. In my pride, I want to see this misfortune as something bad that has happened to me. Something that shows that I have been wronged and I can therefore be justified in my anger. I want to be angry and upset because I have been injured or I have been hurt or I have lost out financially. Ultimately, I am not angry with the person or the particular circumstances impacting me. In my pride, I am angry with God for bringing this “bad” thing into my life.
My response needs to be humility. My response should be the same as Eli in this passage. I should have a humble acknowledgement that the Lord is sovereign and in control of every detail in my life and the world around me. This “bad” thing that has happened to me is ultimately a circumstance brought into my life by the Lord and this is for my good. How can hardship and adversity be good? How can pain and suffering be good? How can the blessing of the Lord in my life be brought through the tears of my hurt? Yet, the Bible is clear that my heavenly Father is good and he is working in my life for good. There are so many examples of pain and hardship in the lives of God’s people that they are too numerous to mention. I can readily think of the hardships brought into the life of Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Jonah, Peter, Paul, and many others. I think of Lazarus dying and the suffering that God allowed Mary and Martha to go through as they mourned. There is just so much even in my own life where “bad” situations were for my good.
Even my greatest failure and shame… This too was for my good. How? It humbled me. It taught me to say with Eli, “It is the Lord.” So, this is my day-to-day relationship with the Lord. It is one of humbleness. A life of bowing in obedience to the Lord. Will I not accept the “bad” with the “good”? Will I not learn and understand that everything is from the hand of God and is for my good? My perspective is warped by sin and pride. I want to view and judge all of my circumstances by my immediate joy or displeasure. The Lord wants me to look at it through the lens of Christ. Why is this disappointment brought into my life? I may never truly know. What I do know is that it is an opportunity to worship Christ! It is an opportunity to humble myself before my sovereign Creator. It is an opportunity to remember that I am full dependent upon the Lord in every moment of life. Each and every breath. Each and every decision. Each and every action. They are all opportunities to love Jesus.