Do You Hear Him Calling Your Name?
by pastor Andy Lauer
Each of these devotional blogs entries is meant to be read on your own or if you have family or friends you live with, to be read together aloud. A suggestion is to do this after you have dinner around the table together. At the conclusion, please spend time in personal reflection or in sharing with one another your answers to the questions at the end. Be sure to conclude with prayer.
Read Isaiah 40
“Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting, ‘Clear the way . . . for the Lord.’” (40:3)
Many of you will remember the devastating earthquake that rocked the impoverished country of Haitin in 2010. Thirty thousands commercial buildings collapsed and a quarter of a million homes crumbled burying tens of thousands of people alive–most of them never saw the light of day again. Darline Etienne, 16, was one who did.
At about 5 o’clock on January 12, Darline was at home getting ready for a shower. When the 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit, the house collapsed burying Darline under tons of shattered concrete and twisted steel. As the capital city of Port au Prince lay in ruins around them, her family and teams of rescuers franticaly searched for survivors. After days of not finding any, hope had largely faded. As Darline lay there, she could hear the rescuers all around her, but the sound of jackhammers and heavy equipment drowned out her voice. Instead of being rescued, she remained entombed in that dark, desperate place—awaiting death—for 15 days.
One afternoon a group of young men were picking their way along the hillside where Darline’s house had once stood. As they passed by a pile of rubble, a young man named Roosevelt Luc heard something and called out, “Is there someone here?”
“Yes,” Darline replied. “I am alive.”
After nearly four hours of digging, the men and a large group of rescuers, finally pulled Darline from her almost-grave. Unable to stand on her own, and barely able to speak, she mouthed the words “Thank you” as her rescuers rushed her away on a stretcher to find medial help. She had survived.
Imagine for a minute what it must have been like to be in Darline’s position. Alone, pinned under tons of debris, unable to move, caught in complete darkness, calling for help but going unheard–for fifteen days. Now imagine crying out one last time and hearing the voice of someone calling back. Consider how Darline must have felt in that moment hearing those words of comfort: “It’s going to be okay! We’re here now. We’re going to rescue you.”
I believe that when the people of Judah, who had been captive slaves of the Babylonians for over three generations, heard the voice of Isaiah proclaim the words above, they must have felt something like Darline. After being trapped in darkness and slavery for 70 years, many had given up hope. Imagine hearing these words: “Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting, ‘Clear the way . . . for the Lord.’” (40:3).
Perhaps you’re experiencing this difficult time with a heavy heart. Maybe you feel trapped and alone either in your home through physical distancing or through the ramifications of the virus and subsequent economic shutdown. There is good news for you! There is a voice calling your name; Someone is looking for you and will rescue you—if only you’ll let Him. My prayer is that you would come to know God’s same “comfort” that Isaiah announced to the people millennia ago.
Use the following prayer to help you pray your own:
Dear Heavenly Father, I call out to You today and trust that You hear me. Help me to hear Your voice calling back to me . . . through Your Word, Your Spirit, and Your faithful servants. Give me confidence and help me to to put my full trust in You this day. Help me to live with boldness instead of fear as I follow You. Amen.