Butterfly Sparks Designs

Thursday, October 14, 2010

In the Listening.

Hello again. It’s been awhile. It’s good to be back.

I’m finding it hard to believe that Fall is already here. This is hands down my favorite time of year. The time of year that this non-outdoorsy girly girl actually enjoys the outdoors and nature. I was actually giddy last night during my evening walk/run as I saw the first leaves dancing down the street, singing the familiar pitter-patter song of Fall. A perfect, cool, breezy Fall evening. Windows open, pumpkin-scented candles burning, and beautiful evening skies with the constellations of the season returning their beauty for us to enjoy. I love everything about Fall.

I’m a bit under the weather tonight, but still enjoying this Fall evening from the indoors. The cool breeze, newly fallen crunchy leaves, and gazing at Orion through my window relax me to a place of quiet stillness. And tonight I find myself keenly aware of a simple truth about God…and about me.

God speaks.  And sometimes I am so busy talking that I forget to listen.
The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by."  Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it…” (1 Kings 19:11-13 NIV)
He didn't speak in the great and powerful wind. He didn’t speak in the earthquake. He didn’t speak in the fire. He spoke in the gentle whisper. And Elijah was listening.

Sometimes I am caught aware not only by my failure to stop long enough to listen for God's gentle whisper, but also my failure to listen to others whom I truly love and care for. Albeit with good intentions, often I am so quick to say “I’ll pray for you!” that I don’t take the time to truly listen to what the other person longs to express. Sometimes I am so quick to offer encouragement or counsel that I miss the sweetness of the opportunity to truly listen to a friend. Maybe the encouragement that would reach that person's heart is in the listening. And sometimes not with the best of intentions, I am too busy, impatient, or prideful to listen.

When we don’t listen, we miss something precious. We can see a person when we truly listen, when we study them and patiently listen for the whispers that reveal the deepest parts of their hearts to us. And after all, isn’t that what all of us want in our relationships – to be seen and known? Isn’t that what God wants from us – to see and know Him?

God, may we stop speaking long enough to hear You so that we may see and know You. For in that, you not only speak to our hearts, but you faithfully equip us with quiet hearts to hear, see and know others. 

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