I’m currently enrolled in a Christian Life Coach certification program and it was my turn to give a devotional. The chapter that we were covering had to do with LISTENING. I found this funny because my word for 2015 also happens to be LISTEN. No coincidences with God, right? So as I sat with God and with the word LISTEN, a few things happened.
I’m not sure if you’re aware, but last week an ice storm swept through Nashville, TN. A very loud hush accompanied this storm. The normal hum of vehicles was absent, even the birds were strangely silenced. Instead, as it rained ice, all I could hear was the tapping of the crystals as they hit the eaves of the house. It sounded like a thousand tap dancers a mile away. Yet, in this sacred silence there was an annoying clatter that no one else could hear. My scattered thoughts were having their own version of a snow day. They were a mindless clamor that interfered with my efforts to listen to the beautiful silence. Like the ice that encrusted the tree limbs outside, these thoughts glazed over every part of me and kept me from hearing what was important.
I realized in a new way that God beckons me to listen to him. In John 10:27, Jesus says, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” Moreover, God delights in listening to me too. Deuteronomy 4:7 says, “Yes. What other great nation has gods that are intimate with them the way God, our God, is with us, always ready to listen to us?”
I believe being heard is one of the greatest gifts in life, and to be heard by God fulfills one of our deepest human needs; but as I skimmed scripture I was struck by Jesus’ desire to be heard as well. Jesus says so many times, “If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.” God echoes this often in the book of Revelation as well. I am cautioned by how so many people did not hear what Jesus was saying because they were not listening. Their hearts were not attuned, their judgments did not allow and their desires distracted them from the beautiful truth that he offered.
God beckons me to listen to him. He waits expectantly. He wants to be heard and he wants to be heard by me, and by you. Jeremiah 29:12-14 says, “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord.” God wants to be found and he wants to be heard. He called to Adam and Eve as they hid in the garden, he whispered to Elijah after a grand display of wind, earthquake and fire, he flashed a light around Paul and spoke to him on the road to Damascus, and he continues to call, whisper and speak to us.
God used a quiet ice storm to speak to me. When I was able to lower the volume of my thoughts, I heard him tell me how much he enjoys being heard. He wants me to know that whether it’s through the clamor of my thoughts, the din of my day, or the still silence of a storm, he speaks! He has a story to tell, and it’s a beautiful one that includes me… and you. I invite you to find God in either the silence or noise of your life. Let’s all call upon the Holy Spirit to clear our minds, free us from distractions and attune our hearts to hear his very special invitation, “If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.” And, let our response be as 1 Samuel 3:9 says, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”
Thank you heavenly Father that your Word is truth and it reveals who you are to us. I’m so grateful you are an intimate God who wants to be found and heard. May the sound of your many promises subdue the clamor of our thoughts and our lives and may we ever enjoy the consolation of your sweet voice. Amen.