My thoughts (Carla Peck):
Imagine sitting down to write your Be Still devotional and all the electricity in the house shuts off, and stays off. First, I received a repeat of the spousal wisdom about procrastination, and then secondly, I thought of this as a genuine opportunity to ask God to reveal to me what meaning this scripture has in store for you and me. I sat in total darkness for a few minutes thinking that the lights would come back on, but they did not, so I pretended that I was Samuel in today’s scripture and spoke out to God: “God, please speak to me, your servant is listening,” then went to sleep.
I laid down and God did not call out for me. And, unfortunately, no prophetic visions were received, and no dreams were remembered. Do you ever get this feeling? You are asking for God’s word and hear nothing?
These are exactly the times I need to be open to the unexpected messenger. Be open to an unexpected invitation, an unexpected warning, a disruption in daily events, or a subtle current that ebbs against the flow of the day. God’s word to me sometimes comes through another messenger.
In today’s scripture, what seems odd to me is that once Samuel receives God’s word, the message is actually for Eli. Eli is in the same house, why didn’t God speak to Eli directly?
I can relate this to a time in my life where I had to deal with a sequence of difficult situations. Within a short period of time:
- I had to help my Dad with an unexpected surgery and long hospitalization, and find a nursing home for my Dad to “get therapy to get back on his feet.”
- The nursing home instead turned into a permanent residence for him, and we had to move him to a second (affordable) nursing home.
- We helped another family member through a sudden health crisis.
- A tree fell on our home and destroyed it, putting us out of our home and causing us to work with the insurance company to rebuild our home and replace several of our belongings.
My message from God came through my partner. In the midst of living in this perpetual state of turmoil, traveling somewhere was the furthest thing from my mind. It was not even a consideration to leave, but, unknown to me, my partner had made a reservation for us to spend the night in a state park, about an hour away, to get away for just one night and have a change of pace and scenery. It was during the time we were away that the tree fell on our home.
I could have insisted that this was an impossible time to leave, even if it was only for one night, and that we didn’t discuss this first, but instead, I let the disruption, the unexpected turn against the tide of my chaotic life unfold, and I am thankful that I did. A spiritual mentor once told me “Carla, there are no coincidences.”
Thought for the day: How would my life change if during my quiet time with God I said, “God, please speak to me, your servant is listening” and then just listened? What unexpected messenger might have a word from God for me?
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.