The boy Samuel ministered to the Lord under Eli. Now the word of the Lord was rare in those days; prophetic vision infrequent. Yet it came to pass at that time, while Eli was lying down in his place, when his eyes had grown so dim he could not see, and before the lamp of God had gone out in the tabernacle of the Lord where the ark of God was, while Samuel was lying down in his place, that the Lord called out. And Samuel answered him, “Here I am!” (1 Sam 3:1-4)
These scriptures are some of my favorites and I return to them often. They are a comfort and confirmation of my own testimony, of God speaking to me and calling me to follow him nearly 15 years ago. These scriptures answer the question ‘Does God speak?’ And even more intimately ‘Does God speak to me when I see very little evidence of his presence?’ The answer is… ‘Yes!’ and ‘Yes!’
This here introduction into the life of Samuel serves to remind me (and I hope you too) of two important things: (1) Belief, more than anything else, bears the marks of commitment. Belief commits to continue believing when we are full of doubt. Belief continues to stay put, be patient, come close, and open up, particularly in times of uncertainty, where there is no clear vision or direction, when we despair even of lifting our eyes. This commitment we call faith, and without it we really are lost at sea. (2) Every bit as much in our day as in the days of Samuel, the lamp of the Lord does not go out. It continues right along with us. Whether our eyes have gone dim with disappointment or our hearts have grown hard from perpetual hurdles, the glowing presence of God is aflame the whole night through… the whole night through. Do not despair over evidence. Believe. Our constant companion even now walks us on toward morning, toward a Sabbath of sorts, a changing of the guard, a whisper of that long-awaited rest at the end of a shift, where our efforts shut down and His voice awakens.
Dan Behrens, Co Pastor, Evergreen Church