“Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” Psalm 25:4-5 (NIV)
I admit… I have a long way to go in the area of listening well. I thought I was a good listener, but I realized lately I’m really not. We dealt with an issue with one of our children recently and I was trying to understand the heart behind the issue. The problem was… I’m not sure our child even knew the answer to that question. Trying to solve the problem using knowledge I thought I had didn’t work.
It wasn’t until I took the time to get quiet with our child and started asking questions, then really listening to the answers I was given before I started to understand. I thought I knew the answers to the questions I was asking. I didn’t know the answers at all. And that is when I realized I need to learn how to listen better. Longer. Deeper.
I think I’m the same way with my Heavenly Father. If He starts to answer my prayers, do I think He’s finished or wait to listen for the whole answer? Do I think I already know what He’s going to say and therefore don’t listen wholeheartedly or start to fashion my answer before He’s done speaking?
One of my words for 2018 is to be still… I know I have a problem with that. I could use excess caffeine (and/or) sugar as an excuse, but the real issue is that sometimes, I’m afraid of what the answer is going to be if I sit and listen, truly listen.
Is He going to yell at me? Tell me everything I’m doing wrong? Have I failed Him yet again and is He going to point that out? What area in my life needs worked on now?
Not only do I need to work on my listening skills, but I need to work on my approach. God loves me. He wants the best for me and sometimes that means putting me back on the right path. Listening correctly the first time is the best, but since I’m still learning, sometimes He has to get my attention in other ways.
God wants to speak to me. He truly does. And I want to hear His voice. I truly do. I’m the one who needs to work on my listening skills. He doesn’t need to work on how He speaks. When I get quiet, just like I had to with our child so that I could really hear the heart behind the words, I need to get quiet with God and really hear His heart behind His message.
I’m definitely a work in progress in this area. Both with my family and friends as well as with my Heavenly Father. I’m glad He loves me enough to bring this flaw to my attention. I’m looking forward to practicing the art of being still before God and hearing all that He wants to speak to me because I love when God speaks. I need to remember that taking the time to listen pleases my Father and fills me with joy too.
© Cheri Swalwell 2018