"Samuel answered, 'Speak, for your servant is listening.'"
1 Samuel 3:10
On Pray-As-You-Go this morning, they say that God speaks to us, too, just like to Samuel. Samuel needed Eli's help to recognize God's voice and we may need some help as well. When I think back to times I really felt I heard God speaking, there were some things I had to discern to know, for sure, it was God.
First, am I familiar enough with God to recognize words that really just sound like God? Has God said something similar in scripture or to someone else, like one of the mystics or saints? God's words are life-giving, loving, sustaining. Am I close enough in relationship with God so God's words are familiar, recognizable? Second, it seems like I hear God better if I am off on my own--on retreat, or on a Quiet Day, or driving in silence. It's not that God doesn't call at other times, maybe it's just easier to hear when I'm quiet! Third, God says stuff I know, deep down, but still may be difficult to hear. Like "You can do better at this." It may be hard to hear at the time, but I certainly know God is right on. And finally, I have always felt the most loving kindness and affection in God's words. Even while hearing the hard stuff, I feel completely embraced by love while hearing it. I never feel scolded (even though I deserve to be), but I feel cradled in love and gently encouraged to try harder. So, let's pay close attention to the words we hear this day...do they sound like God? Are we listening? Love, heidi