I started wearing hearing aids about six weeks ago, a move I resisted for the longest time. Hearing aids make me feel old and feeble – something my grandfather would wear.
Though fifty-seven in reality, in my mind, I’m still in my twenties. What are you talking about? I don’t need hearing aids!
For quite some time, my wife, Alean, thought I was ignoring her. The truth is, I did not hear her talking to me unless I was facing her, or if I did hear her, it sounded somewhat like the muffled voice of Charlie Brown’s teacher – “mmmff dffff rrrff thfffff dfff grrfff.”
I didn’t know if my wife was talking to me, or to the cat.
More and more, I found myself watching people’s lips rather than looking them in the eyes.
El Shama – The God Who Hears Me
I understand Alean’s frustration. It is irritating to feel as though we are not being listened to. Either we are being ignored by the one to whom we are speaking, or there is no one there to listen us to begin with. Not so with our God.
Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion,
and to you shall vows be performed.
O you who hear prayer,
to you shall all flesh come. – Psalm 65:2, ESV
But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself;
the LORD hears when I call to him. – Psalm 4:3, ESV
Life is difficult. Anyone who says otherwise is simply not engaged – merely drifting with the currents. But those of us with a mission, those with goals and aspirations, face tremendous challenges, and very often we feel as though we are going it alone – no one with us to listen, or to provide wise counsel.
In reality, our sense of loneliness deceives us. We are far from alone!
The LORD is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
he also hears their cry and saves them. – Psalm 145:18, ESV
How beautiful it is to know that we are loved so much that God is always near when we call. There is no need so small that it escapes his notice, no burden so great but that he cannot lighten our load, no failing so profound but that he will wash it away, far from us. He is the God of all grace (1 Peter 5:10), and the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3).
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their prayer. – 1 Peter 3:12a, ESV
Speaking With God Expectantly
Many years ago, I was listening to a colleague speak at a national conference. He told of a time when he was very young, maybe six or seven years old. He had gone to church with his parents that morning, and had in his pocket fifty cents they had given him for the Sunday School offering basket.
When my friend arrived home, he discovered the two quarters were still in his pocket, and he was horrified. He ran to his room, shut the door, and propped a chair against it to prevent anyone coming in and discovering his great failure.
Secure in his room my friend sat on his bed, and with tears streaming down his face, repeatedly threw the quarters at the ceiling, pleading with God, “Please God, take the quarters! I’m sorry I forgot. Please, just take them.”
Every one of us in the room grieved with the sobbing little boy who pleaded with God to take the quarters. It was an adorable story right up to the point that he shocked us all …
He said, “You know, looking back on that morning, I’m surprised he didn’t do it. I’m surprised he didn’t take the quarters.”
As I listened to that, I had to admit the sad truth, that I would have been shocked if God had taken the quarters. Furthermore, I would have been skeptical of the story, and would have questioned my friend’s integrity, or recollection, if he had said God did take them.
We need to repent of our blindness to the reality that God is with us, in us, loves us, hears us, and cares for us. We, like my friend, should be surprised when God does not “take the quarters.”
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. – Hebrews 4:16, ESV
Blessings upon you my friends.
Victoriously in Christ!
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