When it comes to communicating with my husband, nothing frustrates me more than having to repeat myself. I love to talk, but I don’t love saying the same things over and over again. I prefer undivided attention and an ear tuned in to what is being said.
Most of the time my husband is great at listening, but every so often, he isn’t. During allergy season his ears occasionally clog up. Sometimes his mind is occupied with everything he is dealing with at work. It’s at times like those when I approach him to talk, that I get irritated and end up saying something like, “When you are ready to listen and give me your undivided attention, let me know!” Secretly, in my mind I’m also thinking something along the lines of, “God help us if he should ever lose some of his ability to hear.” I can see the headlines saying, ‘Woman Snapped When Slightly Hard of Hearing Husband Sent Her Over-the-Edge When He Didn’t Hear Her Speaking to Him’. I’m exaggerating (a little) but truth be told, I like to be heard. In my mind, if it’s important enough to be said, it deserves a listening ear.
In my quiet time recently, as I was writing out my prayers, I took a moment to ask God if he had anything for me. I heard the word, LISTEN, and wrote it down. Over the next few days in my pause and listen time, I heard God say it again, LISTEN. I thought –is that not what I’m doing? I asked if you have anything for me, God! Finally, I said, “help me to understand what you mean when you say, ‘Listen’.”
I didn’t hear an audible answer, but an understanding came to my spirit as it dawned on me my prayers were continuing for something he said was already done, with no real change to how I was asking. He was telling me to listen, as in – ‘It is finished. It’s done. It’s complete’. When I realized what he was saying, my prayers changed from me asking for something he said was already done to me thanking him for what is coming and ushering it in from that perspective. It also dawned on me as I sought understanding that the way I would walk out what I was asking for, was by listening.
As I thought on these things a verse came to mind that I love, Isaiah 30:21, which says,
Whether you turn to the right or to the left,
your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying,
“This is the way; walk in it.”
God was saying listen to me now, “It’s done.” And listen to me then, “My way is the only way. Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit. Stay tuned in.”
How easy it is to spend time with God daily and miss what he’s telling me. My mind wanders during our time to everything I have on my plate, my prayers often steamroll over his whispers, and my fears drown out his voice. Sometimes my ears are clogged — and I just miss it. Honestly, I am guilty of the same thing that frustrates me when I see it in my husband, and not just with God, but with him as well. I am thankful for the reminder to slow down and LISTEN, placing value on the words being spoken to me and the speakers of them.
Let’s pray: Father God, help me to listen to what the spirit whispers to me during our time together. Give me ears to hear and eyes to see what you have for me as I read and meditate on your word. I desire to hear your voice behind me saying, “This is the way, walk in it.” I don’t want to miss your promptings. My greatest desire is to follow your lead and live in close fellowship with you. Help me to slow down and tune in to those around me as well. Not just focusing on what I want to say, but hearing also what they have to say. Help me to be understanding when others are preoccupied and have other things on their minds. In Jesus name, amen.