“Thus Samuel grew and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fail. All Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the Lord.
And the Lord appeared again at Shiloh, because the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the Lord.”1 Samuel 3:19-21
It was the summer of 1979. I was a summer missionary assigned to the Kansas/Nebraska Baptist Convention. My assignment was to serve on a music team consisting of two girls and two guys. We provided music for VBS programs, lake resort worship services, summer camps, and church worship services.
We all arrived in Topeka, KS traveling from Alabama, South Carolina, and Texas. Orientation was a blur, then we embarked on our ten-week adventure. Every place in which we served proved to be an opportunity to see God’s faithfulness as we lived in people’s homes and engaged in their lives for one week before we were off to the next assignment.
Halfway through the summer, I received news that my grandmother had passed away. She had been ill, and I had said goodbye to her prior to leaving home. The people in the church we were serving that week heard this news and bought a roundtrip airline ticket allowing me to attend her funeral. That was an unexpected blessing and an opportunity for God to demonstrate His provision and faithfulness to many, especially me.
The last time I visited my grandmother prior to my mission trip, I was torn between wanting to be with her and my family and going to serve the Lord those ten weeks. She was a strong Christian and had been a significant influence in my life. I knew she wanted me to go and we were both at peace as to where she was going.
It was during that summer missions experience that I settled the issue of God calling me into vocational ministry. When I returned home, I shared the news with my parents. They were encouraging, and for the first time, they shared with me that when I was an infant they had dedicated me to the Lord for whatever He chose for my life. There was never any pressure on me from them to make that decision. It was the result of God working all of these things together according to His will.
God called Samuel at a young age and equipped him to serve by having his mother dedicate him to live with God’s prophet Eli in the temple of the Lord. Whenever the Lord may call on you to serve Him in any capacity, be assured that He who calls you will also bring it to pass (1 Thessalonians 5:24).