by Sandy Kirby Quandt
During a recent study of 1 Samuel 3 which records God’s call on the prophet Samuel’s life, I thought about an incident that happened in the early 1970s when a friend and I attended the opening of a new shopping center.
As we walked through the shopping center, a 6 foot tall Squirrel called out my friend’s name. (Think Alice in Wonderland and the White Rabbit. No. Hallucinogenics were not involved.)
My friend looked my direction. I shrugged. It wasn’t me.
Not sure what was going on, we kept walking.
I should probably mention the name of the shopping center was Walnut Grove; so it made perfect sense to have a 6 foot Squirrel as their mascot walking around talking to people, but it did not make sense that the Squirrel knew my friend’s name.
The Squirrel followed, and called out again.
When we stopped, and turned toward the Squirrel she explained who she was. She and my friend knew each other in elementary school.
It was rather unsettling for my friend, and humorous to me, to have a Squirrel calling after him, and following us through the shopping center. He wasn’t expecting it, and didn’t really know how to respond. So he did what made sense to him. He tried to get away.
When God called Samuel as he slept, Samuel wasn’t expecting it, and didn’t really know how to respond. He did what made sense to him. He went to see what Eli, the priest, needed. Only Eli was not the one who called the boy.
After the third time God called Samuel, Eli figured out who called Samuel, and told him to go lie back down, and if God called him again Samuel was to say, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
And that’s exactly what Samuel did.
There may be times when God calls us to do something for him, but we don’t recognize his voice. Or if we do, we don’t want to listen to what God has to say, and we walk away.
One of the commentators I read during my study of this part in Samuel’s life said:
Trying to hear God’s call in our lives can be like trying to hear a conversation in a busy room full of people. He’s speaking, but the clutter of noise and distractions around us means we aren’t hearing much of what he says. We need to be intentional about carving out time and space in our lives to listen to God.
When God calls us, we need to be like Samuel and say, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
How are you intentional in carving out time and space in your life to listen to God?
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Then the Lord called Samuel.
Samuel answered, “Here I am.” And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down. …
A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:4-5, 8-10
I wish you well.
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