“We can’t plan life. All we can do is be available for it.” ~ Lauryn Hill
While there is a certain amount of planning that goes into our lives — college plans, career goals, retirement plans — there is also a great amount of “surprise” in our lives. We might have some rather elaborate hopes or plans for ourselves and find that we veer off in another direction because of unplanned circumstances.
We need to be ready for those moments. There is a great story in the Old Testament about Samuel. We are told that Samuel lived at a time when God’s voice had been rather silent. Yet, for Samuel, God was anything but silent.
One night, God called Samuel’s name while Samuel slept. Samuel kept going to his teacher, Eli, thinking that his teacher was the one who had called him. Finally, Eli realized that it was the Lord talking and instructed Samuel to respond “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening” the next time Samuel heard his name being called.
We know the story. Samuel responded and the rest, as they say, is history. It was only because Samuel made himself available to listen to God that he was able to carry on a long-standing relationship with the Lord. It was also through the suggestion of a fine teacher that Samuel first learned how to respond to God’s call.
There is no way that Samuel could have planned for the moment that God would call. There was no way, for that matter, that Eli would have been able to plan for the event. What was needed was discernment. When God called, both Eli and Samuel needed to do a great deal of thinking and then determine the appropriate response.
It is like that so often in our own lives. We do the best we can to plan for ourselves. We plan our futures. We plan the course of our employment. We plan our retirements. We plan a great many things. One of the things that we learn early on in life, however, is that there is much for which we cannot plan. There are many things that take us by surprise and we have to be ready, as best we can, for those moments as well.
If we tend our spiritual lives, we will be ready for whatever may come our way. We will learn that God calls His people and that He awaits our response. We will know that God never forces His people to do anything but always invites His people to embrace His will with faith, love, and trust.
When we say yes to God, He will give us what we need to accomplish that for which He has called us.
FAITH ACTION: Do not let fear rule your heart. Rather, when you believe that God is calling you, say to Him, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.”