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Hearing a Voice

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, October 21.

By Andrew McChesney


ne evening, Father asked 7-year-old Elijah to massage his neck and shoulders before going to bed in Cameroon.

Father’s neck and shoulders often ached, and the massage helped him relax and feel better. Elijah liked helping Father, and he often gave him a massage before bedtime.

But the light bulb in the living room was dim, and Elijah couldn’t see well. So, he ran to his bedroom to get a flashlight.

Just as Elijah entered his bedroom, the light went off. It was dark, and he couldn’t see anything. He felt a strong wind blowing through an open window. Then he heard a voice.

“Elijah. Elijah. Elijah,” the voice said.

Elijah didn’t recognize the voice. It wasn’t a man’s voice. It wasn’t a woman’s voice. It seemed to be a man’s and a woman’s voice mixed together.

Elijah was scared. He stood as still as a stone. He wondered who was calling his name.

Slowly — not too softly, and not too loudly — he asked, “Who is it?”

The voice replied, “It’s me.”

But Elijah still don’t know who it was. He was so scared that he forgot to pray.

Then he heard another voice.

“If you can’t find the flashlight, come back so we can pray together,” the voice said. “It’s getting late, and you need to go to bed.”

Elijah knew that voice. It was Father! He stopped feeling so scared.

At that moment, the light came back on.

Elijah looked around the room and immediately spotted the flashlight on the floor, covered by a shirt. He grabbed the flashlight and returned to the living room.

“It’s too late for a massage,” Father said. “You’ll have to give it in the morning.”

Father didn’t notice that Elijah was especially quiet as he prayed. Elijah didn’t tell him about the voice. He didn’t think Father would be interested.

Climbing into bed, Elijah felt a little afraid. The he remembered Psalm 23, and he repeated it from memory. He said,

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord

Forever (NKJV).

Finishing the psalm, Elijah fell asleep. He slept peacefully.

The next day, Elijah told Mother about the voice, and she immediately prayed with him. “Lord,” she said, “You are the one who knows what happened, and You are the one who knows the voice that called Elijah. I want you to cover him because You are the Solid Rock. Stand against any spirit who does not honor You. In the name of Jesus, Amen.”

Elijah knew that the voice would not call his name again. And it hasn’t.

Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help open a Seventh-day Adventist school in Elijah’s home country of Cameroon where children will be able to learn about God. Thank you for planning a generous offering.