The other night I woke up to the sound of my name. Spoken as clear as day in the dead of night. I rolled over, checked the time, went through a checklist in my head of what I thought it could be (none of which it was), then fell back asleep.
It wasn’t my sister, parents, a dream, or my phone so why should I be concerned about it any longer?
But I couldn’t let go of it. I still can’t.
What if God was trying to talk to me?
What if I was just like young Samuel from the Bible? (1 Samuel 3: 1-11)
What if I was so caught up in my checklist that I forgot to simply say, “Here I am, Lord. Your servant is listening.”
What if God was waiting for me to stop, be aware of His Presence, and listen to Him without any distractions? What blessing did I miss because I failed to recognize the voice of God?
And more importantly, how often do I ignore Him in normal, everyday life?
How often does God try to get my attention and I ignore it?
Or worse: how often do I hear the words of the Father, go through my checklist, and ignore what He has to say?
“You want me to do what? Uh, anxiety… depression… yea, I’m not going to be able to do that for You. Try someone else.”
But when the Lord calls your name in the middle of the night, you answer.
When you hear your name in the middle of the darkness of life, you answer.
When I am tired and weak from trials pounding me from every angle, the voice of God should be what I run to. Hearing my name should be a sweet relief, not something to apply to the checklist.
But I serve a relentless God.
Even when Samuel when running in the wrong direction to serve the wrong master multiple times, God still called his name until he answered.
Samuel had to learn the voice of God first – he had to be aware of Who was doing the calling and only then was he able to hear what God had to tell him.
And with hearing the voice of the Lord, he received a gift. It says, “The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and He let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground.” (1 Samuel 3:19).
Because Samuel recognized the voice of the Lord and was willing to listen, he was used as a prophet for the Lord. When we recognize the voice of the Lord, He can use us all the more despite all the failures we bring to the table.
God may or may not wake me up in the middle of the night again. If He does, I will lay down my checklist and answer, “Here I am, Lord. Your servant is listening.” (or, for those who know be best after I wake up, it may sound more like “yea, God?”)
And when He calls my name in the middle of the day – because He will – I will lay down my checklist, and answer, “Here I am, Lord. Your servant is listening.”