God speaks to Samuel when he least expects it. He is, after all, just a child—a sleepy child, tired from the day's activities with his "adopted" parent-priest, Eli. Samuel's story reminds us that when God wants to speak to us, he'll get his message through—one way or another.
Like Samuel, God's messages can come to us in unexpected ways. A friend of Laura Hatch's family had no doubt heard God speak to her when Laura was in grave danger.
Partygoers in Seattle were the last people to see 17-year-old Laura Hatch on the night of a fateful October 2, 2004.
For more than a week, her family and friends searched, prayed and hoped for her safe return. More than 200 volunteers—including many members of Laura's home church—combed the woods, fields and suburban streets for any trace of the teenager. Despite their extensive search, no one uncovered the truth: She had lost control of her car on the way home from the party and had careened down into a steep, heavily forested ravine.
With no leads, her family assumed the worst.
"We had already given her up and let her be dead in our hearts," Laura's mother told the media.
However, Sha Nohr, the mother of one of Laura's friends, had several dreams of a wooded area and heard the message, "Keep going. Keep going." On the eighth day of searching, she and her daughter drove to the scene where the crash occurred, both praying continuously along the way.
At the site, Nohr felt inexplicably drawn to a concrete barrier, where she climbed more than 100 feet down a steep embankment, thick with leaves. It was there that she saw the fender of a vehicle amid the trees and discovered Laura in the backseat—barely conscious.
Having had nothing to drink or eat for eight days, Laura had suffered severe dehydration, a blood clot in her brain, broken ribs, a broken leg and facial lacerations. But doctors agreed that her survival—and the circumstances surrounding her recovery—were nothing short of miraculous.
That evening, instead of gathering for a solemn prayer vigil, more than 100 of Laura's family and friends celebrated her safe return.