1 Samuel 3 (Click here for the passage)
Do you remember the old Dr. Seuss book, Horton Hears a Who?
The book tells the story of Horton the Elephant who hears the cries of help from the people of Whoville, a tiny planet located on a small speck of dust. Horton can hear them, but he can’t see them. The other animals of the jungle think Horton is imagining things and that Horton’s “story” is dangerous for the other animal children and try to destroy the speck. When the residence of Whoville learn of their danger, all of them begin crying out in an effort to be heard and they shout together, “We are here! We are here! We are here!”
Every time I read this passage and Samuel’s response to God’s calling I think of this Dr. Seuss book.
This is an incredibly interesting passage that records the calling of Samuel and I’m struck by a few highlights that catch my attention:
- Eli’s response to God’s judgment
- Samuel’s response to God’s repeated calls
- The Word of the Lord - both the lack of it before Samuel’s call (vs. 1) and the presence of the Word with Samuel as Samuel grows up (vs. 19-21).
It’s important to remember that this is a time of transition in the life of the people of God. It is a transition from judges to prophets, and from the Lord as King over God’s people to a human king over the people (but one anointed by the Lord). It’s an incredible time of transition and God is at work in the lives of His people.
All of this makes me think about how we respond to God as He calls us. Samuel said, “Here I am, I’m listening.” Eli however, wasn’t hearing that call anymore. The truth is, God is constantly speaking to us, calling us to the deep waters of trust and relationship with Him and to join Him in the work He is doing. For our part, we must intentionally get into that space where we can listen and respond to God’s calling on our lives.
Have you ever had one of those days when you had your plans and purposes set for the day, looking forward to getting things done, only to see it all fall apart? We’ve all had days like that. Everything looks as though you’ll be able to focus and dig in but then there’s a problem with an email, your car won’t start, you have to take a phone call, someone needs your help for “just a moment,” a knock at the door or the internet goes out. When you finally get through those things you suddenly remember that you haven’t really spent any quality time alone with the Lord. You didn’t really read scripture (you only skimmed through it), you didn’t pray, and above all that you’ve had no time alone with the Lord.
Sound familiar? Would it surprise you to know that pastors go through the same thing? Would it surprise you to know that the disciples went through the same thing and needed to just get away for a bit to be with Jesus? It happens in Mark’s Gospel (Mark 6.30-32) right after the disciples return from being sent out by Jesus (Mark 6.7-13).
We all find ourselves overwhelmed with busyness and distractions from time to time.
And yet, there always seems to be that moment even in the busiest of days, when we hear the voice of the Lord calling our name, calling us to come away with Him, that we might rest and be renewed and see the bigger picture of the Lord’s plans and purposes.
The Lord is calling you. It’s true. Calling, not called, or will call. The Lord is calling you every day. He has never stopped. Can you hear it? He is saying, “I am here! I want to speak with you.” If you can’t hear God calling, then my encouragement to you is to take a couple of minutes to slow down, get quiet, and listen. Even when your day has been blown up by all kinds of distractions the Lord is still calling you to come and sit with Him. If you answer, it changes everything.
God bless you and know that you are prayed for constantly!