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.