Caught Off Guard By God’s Calling

It’s inevitable…Sometimes we go through a season in life where we might feel distant from God.  Perhaps even abandoned or unloved!  I’ve learned through the years that during these times to not base my real relationship with God on my somewhat fickle human feelings.  Why?  Because if I do, then my feelings might tell me that God has forsaken me or betrayed me—and I know that’s never ever going to happen! He’s always here with me—even when I can’t hear him.

As parents we get busy.  There’s always so much going on and sometimes we need to give every ounce we have to our family—sometimes to the point of almost emptying ourselves, with little left in our reserve.  It may be during these moments of fatigue when it becomes the most difficult to sense God’s presence.

Is He here?  Did He leave me? I can’t hear Him!  Where are you, God?!

I’m going out on a limb, and I’m assuming you know what it’s like to not sense the presence of God.  It’s during these moments that I encourage you to remember how God called on Samuel (1 Samuel 3).  As you may remember from Sunday school or your new copy of What’s in the Bible? DVD 5, this was the time of the Judges.  During this time the nation of Israel had fallen away from God, and He had stopped speaking directly to His people through the prophets. In verse 1, it says that, “In those days the Word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions”.  When God DID audibly call on Samuel, he was not only caught off guard, he didn’t even recognize God’s voice!  Instead he mistook God’s calling as that of Eli, the priest/Judge he was training under.  It was now up to Eli to explain to Samuel that God WAS THE ONE calling on him!

Maybe we need Eli-moments in our lives to remind us that God is speaking to us even during those times when we can’t discern His voice. Even during those moments when we feel so very alone, He’s still pursuing us.  He’s calling us into relationship with Him, and really wants us to bring Him into our daily lives!  He desires us to HEAR His voice.

As parents we may understand, even in a tiny way, the heart of God.  We love our children at all times, and we want them to hear our voice – in love; in disciple; in forgiveness; in praise.   Selective hearing is a term which we also understand!  Kids can tune us out for whatever reason.  But that doesn’t change the fact that we are there—calling their names in love—waiting for them to hear finally us.

Have you been like Samuel?  Has God’s calling ever caught you off guard?

Samuel’s response to God, even before he knew who was calling on him, was, “Here I am”.   I hope we all have the same response to God’s calling:  Here I am, Lord! Speak to me.

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Dimetra Ripley
Dimetra Ripley

My new WITB dvd 5 came in the mail yesterday. As soon as I found the time I sat down and watched it! WOW! You have just out done yourselves. I became so overwhelmed by the time I got to the end of part two I was in tears. This work you are doing is so annointed and it makes clear and understandable all the material you are covering. I can't wait until next Tuesday when I will share it with the elementary chapel at Collinsville Christian Academy. It will be the last chapel this school year. Blessings, blessings, blessings on you and your staff as you continue this great work!

Lisa S.
Lisa S.

Hey Phil, thanks for sharing this with us! I'm sure glad that you found the blog post to speak to your heart-- that's awesome! Your words really encouraged me! May God continue to open doors and give you clarity in all that you are seeking! God bless, Lisa

Phil Sawatsky
Phil Sawatsky

Hi Lisa, Your post is a well-timed reminder for me. Strange that I was writing a note about the new DVD and visited this website in order to fact-check my post and here is a note about being called. Perhaps this is what God is trying to tell me. If so, I hope with my small bit of hope that my hope is in the one who holds us all together! He's given me so much lately and thankfully a tonne of knowledge and fun for our family had been brought out of the 4 DVDs received so far from What's In The Bible (along with the shows and games on JellyTelly). Thanks for doing the part you've been given to pass along the understanding kindness God freely gives to all his kids! Guardedly caught off-guard, Phil Sawtsky p.s. Another timely reminder from this earlier post reminds me that if God wants something done, it will be done, even if we refuse to force it to happen ourselves!