The Deafness of Addiction
And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.” 1 Samuel 3:10
Early in my career, we moved into a shiny new Emergency Room, complete with too many bells and whistles. At first, all the alarms were unnerving. Each time one went off, which was every five minutes, I was sure something awful had happened. Soon, I learned that the alarms actually meant nothing, and I began to ignore them. I became deaf to that which I considered to be a nuisance.
I’ve done the same with God. In my addiction, I followed only my own voice. God may have been speaking, but I closed my ears to him so often that I became deaf to His voice. I got to the point where I couldn’t hear Him even if I thought I wanted to, as whatever He had to say was too painful. Confess, go to treatment? No, I’m not going to do that.
In today’s passage, Samuel, who later became one of the Old Testament prophets, heard God’s voice calling and responded the way I always should, Speak, for your servant hears.
The deafness of my addiction is not unique to those enslaved to drugs or alcohol. How many of us have become deaf to God, simply because we follow our own will above all? When is the last time we said yes to God? When is the last time we heard him speak?
When someone stops by the office to tell me of his struggle, that is God asking me to help. When I feel convicted that I am engaging in a selfish, destructive behavior, that is God telling me to do whatever it takes to stop and follow Him. When I read that I am supposed to reach out and love those around me, I must listen.
So many of us, so often, have just thought, Someone will do it. Someone will come along. Someone has come along, and God is telling us that we are that someone. When God calls, we must hear and respond. Speak, for your servant hears.