Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Space in Between, Part XI: Samuel and Eli

Some conversations can be really awkward. Samuel had some of those when he was just a boy, and it started with what was apparently his very first conversation with God.  God didn't start easy, either. Instead, He told Samuel some difficult things about Eli (Samuel's mentor) and then Samuel went back to bed.

Samuel's conversation with God happened pretty early in the evening, and it wasn't until the next morning that Eli and Samuel spoke again. The two faced each other, each with decisions to make. Eli insisted on the truth, probably both fearing and expecting it. And Samuel was anxious, but did not let that keep him from speaking the difficult truth. I imagine it was a very awkward conversation.

Not mentioned much, but still important, is the in-between space of that long night spent waiting. What was Samuel's night like, and what was it like to be Eli? What did they think about? What were they feeling? I suspect it was a difficult night for both of them, without much rest, and I wonder what God was doing in each during those hours. I don't fully know, but I suspect they were both different in some way by the time morning came around.

That's what happens during in-between times, I think. We wrestle and struggle and wait, and for good or ill, we become somehow changed in the process. I am not excited about waiting, and that is okay. But I do want to be respectful of those times, knowing that God is at work and seeking to follow His lead.

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