Saturday, May 21, 2011

Stop to listen.

A life lesson from an Eastern Cottontail rabbit.

"Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches." (Revelation 3:22)

Today I was blessed by an uncommon sighting in my nature walks; an Eastern Cottontail was venturing out from some trees and stopped when I was about fifty yards away. They are generally solitary animals that wander out at night, so I was surprised to see large ears and a fluffy white tail nestled in the grass. My time with the rabbit was very short, since I eventually had to keep walking, but I was struck by its attentiveness to my movement. Despite this herbivore's small size, it has been equipped with a pair of ears large enough to discern the arrival of predators. The rabbit made me consider: am I listening for the right voice?

Our brains are often over-saturated with noise--verbal and visual. I am reminded of this every time I return home from college and go to the mall with my mother. Companies market to our senses, not just our minds, and we buy into the noise. In fact, we buy in to drown out the noise through self-help books and products. It's no small wonder that discerning God's voice is difficult, when a thousand other cries are demanding our attention.

Sometimes we attempt to listen, but it seems as if the Lord is silent. We call out like the Psalmist, asking that He give ear to our pleas and intervene on our behalf. In this case, Oswald Chambers says that "God will give you the very blessings you ask if you refuse to go any further without them, but His silence is the sign that He is bringing you into an even more wonderful understanding of Himself...He has trusted you in the most intimate way possible--with absolute silence." The Lord will strip away our demands that He provide words and we will be met with all we need: His presence.

Regardless whether God is providing a torrent of words or complete silence, He has provided us ears to listen with for a purpose. Many times Scripture records Jesus saying, "He who has ears, let him hear." Why? In John 10:27, He says, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." We don't listen for God as if He is a fortune teller, waiting to give us answers. We remain attentive because we have no other option. As His sheep, we truly are lost without Him. Because of this, we must continually be listening--regardless of whether we think we need to hear from Him or not. Don't just give  Him one hour a week or 15 minutes during the day, always be ready for Him to share part of Himself with you.

Let's take Eli's advice, and remember to continually say, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening" (1 Samuel 3:9).

No comments:

Post a Comment