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Why Did God Speak to an Inexperienced Upstart?

And not to me?

Scripture: "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.Then the Lord called, 'Samuel! Samuel!' And he said, 'Here I am!'" (1 Sam. 3:1, 3-4).

On my way to age 50, I woke up and realized I was hearing this old, familiar story in a different way. For as long as I can remember, when I heard the story of God calling little Samuel while he lived with the old priest, Eli, I always identified with Samuel. I was one of those pastors who heard the voice of God as a youth. While I was still much too young to understand the full implications, God called me to serve him as a leader in his church. Similarly, Samuel's story is about a boy called by God, a boy far too young to understand the full meaning of that call.

But then one day I was 50, and I realized that I no longer identified with little Samuel. I was starting to identify with aging Eli. Here was old Eli, ...

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