“Speak, for your servant is listening.”…(1 Samuel 3:10)
I have lost my voice. Literally, its pretty much gone. As I was sitting here contemplating the reality of having no voice, I thought flashed across my mind that, now I have been given the joy of listening.
Far too often I talk at God, and at others, but do not practice the art of listening. I fill the silence with words, demands or “good advice” instead of being still in God’s presence and in the presence of other people.
Listening is a lost art within our culture. Due to our own insecurities and fears, we constantly feel the need to be in control, so we place demands on God to speed up the process. We try to fix people with our words instead of listening to what’s behind the words they’re speaking.
Behind every broken word is a story. A heart that has been wounded. A grace that was not extended, a fear that was planted and a life that was darkened by life’s struggles, pressures, and disappointments.
A good listener learns to remove all fear, insecurity and the need to win an argument. A listener seeks to understand. To love and care for the person with whom they’re speaking. They don’t need to be right, because their goal is to nurture the individual with whom they’re speaking.
I truly believe that once we learn to listen well to others, we will naturally be able to hear, with greater clarity, the voice of God. Truly, God’s voice often shows up in the broken hearts of individuals who need the tender mercies of His love. I have often heard His voice, not when I’m speaking, but when I’m listening to the hurt behind a person’s words or actions.
I have heard God’s voice more in the past year than probably ever before. I can see, looking back, how He has spoken to me, not when I’m doing great things for Him, but when I’m caring for another person or sitting silently before Him through time in His word. It’s then when I hear His voice say to me, “Heather, you’re just like them too.” I too am fearful, prideful, insecure and full of doubt at times. We’re all the same, are we not? There’s no need to hide from others. In doing so, we start to silence the ever pursuing voice of God in our lives, because we no longer have a need for Him in our own pride.
Since we try to protect our image before others, we miss out on being Hs image to others who also live in a broken world full of sin. We must remember that we too are the beggar at the door of God’s mercy. Truly, without Christ, we would surely be lost.
Lose your voice so you can start to hear God’s whisper. Listen to the hurting so you can start to hear from His heart. It’s there, in their wounds, that together, as we seek the Lord Jesus, that our brokenness starts to become some beautiful for the praise of God’s glorious name.
Lord, speak, for your servant is listening. May my life be full of your tender mercies that I extend to others. Jesus, let my mouth praise you, but let my heart listen with pure intention first, in Jesus name, Amen.