The Upper Room Devotion for Monday, October 9, 2023, was written by Diana Clark of Rhode Island.
1 Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread. 2 At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; 3 the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. 4 Then the Lord called, “Samuel! Samuel!” and he said, “Here I am!” 5 and ran to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down. 6 The Lord called again, “Samuel!” Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. 8 The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. 9 Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
1 Samuel 3:1-10 NRSV
I remember my dad telling me about the frustration he felt when he battled interrupted sleep as an older adult. I must confess that as a young adult, I didn't really understand my father's feelings. I remembered his struggle, however, when recently I started experiencing the same problem. It took me a while before I learned to accept this interruption by using the quiet time to listen for God's voice in my life. Inspired by two church handouts on prayer, I began to pray and respond each night by writing in a prayer journal. What had begun as an inconvenience had suddenly been transformed into a cherished time with my heavenly Father.
Over the last year or two, these quiet times with God have given me direction when facing challenges in relationships with neighbors, co-workers, friends, or family members. These "Interruptions" have also helped me to pray about problems or for the needs of others in my church and to give thanks for all that I have been given. Almost always, I return to bed content and at peace.
Pastor Anthony's Thoughts
Psalm 46:10 states: "Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth." In our modern, fast paced world, being still seems to be wasting time. Yet, when we take time to pause and be still, we begin to hear God's voice more clearly. Diana used her interrupted sleep as her time to be still, nurturing and growing her relationship with God. I invite you to ask yourself: When might I take time to be still and commune with God?
Dear Lord, thank you for the quiet times we have to listen for your guidance and direction. Amen.