So Samuel went and lay down in his place. The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:9-10)
Saturday, Second Week of Easter
Ken Fay sent me a devotional thought written by Stephanie Bryant, entitled, “When the Silencing of Your Schedule Gets Your Attention.” I’m passing it on to you for your reflection….
In this season of social distancing, self-quarantining, and the silencing of our schedules, maybe the very thing we’ve desired — to hear God speak — is being given to each of us in a manner none of us preferred or saw coming.
One of the things every believer longs for is to hear God’s voice clearly. Is that true of you as it is for me? I struggle with the typical distractions to hear God clearly, but now most of those seem to be muted by a pandemic.
Did you ever hope and pray God would speak to you? Is there a prayer you’ve been praying for a long time and it seems as though God has been silent? Do you wish He would make Himself clear in a certain area of your life?
If we believe God really does work all things together for our good because we love Him, then we can believe God is working through the forced silence of our busy lives.
It’s hard for me to let go of plans, travel, schedules, and times with family and friends. But we have the opportunity to experience the things we’ve longed for and couldn’t figure out how to fit in before. We can hear God’s voice more clearly because the noises of our daily lives have been silenced. We have space to think of others besides ourselves. No longer is our excuse of being too busy to help fitting. We can fill up our time with binge watching, or we can use this awkward but precious time to listen to the voice of God.
In our silence, we can be like Samuel and ask God to speak, and then have the capacity to listen.
The silence will not feel normal or even right at first because we are used to loud and distracted lives. For some of us that is all we have ever known. But the silence of entire cities, neighborhoods, and homes is a gift where our prayers to hear from God can finally be answered if we let it.
Let’s not confuse the solitude of our surroundings with the silence of God. God is not silent in the pandemic or our personal situations. What we are facing every day and the impact it has on our lives can be overwhelming to each of us in unique and challenging ways. But God can use the silencing of our schedules so we can hear Him clearly in our lives. We also now have the space to watch Him move and provide on our behalf.
God has allowed this silence in our lives for a brief season. We have a decision to make as His people: either look for the good in a very difficult situation and listen for His voice wholeheartedly, or try to fill up the silence with what feels most comfortable — the busy noise of the world that does not lead to a close relationship with Jesus.
When this pandemic is over and we are on the other side, I pray we all experience a revived faith and live in the words God speaks to us over the new few weeks and months. Your silenced schedule can enable your heart to listen and make your life with Jesus better than before.
God, thank you for the silence and the interrupted schedule so we can listen to Your voice. Thank you for getting our attention and bringing our gaze back to You. God, we ask for Your forgiveness for allowing busyness and distraction to get in the way of hearing Your voice in our lives. We are listening now and want to be obedient to whoever You tell us to love. Please stop this pandemic and speak to us. Let us each pay close attention to Your words. Revive our hearts and create a worldwide hunger for You and your words. Let us obey You now and also when life resumes to a more normal health and pace. We wait for our hope is only in You. Amen
In the journey with Jesus,
Pastor Langdon Reinke
P.S. Hope you and your family are healthy and safe. We are in this together. We have help available if there are needs. Please let us know.