I can relate to this story more than I want to admit. I would love to be able to confess honestly that I am a good listener to my children, my husband, and my friends, but frankly, what I seem to be better at is being a good talker, good complainer, good at giving my opinion, good at a critical response, or good at trying to get the last word in. Unfortunately, my lack of listening and my insensitive words can indicate to my family and friends that maybe I just don’t love them like I try and convince them that I do. I underestimate the power of a listening ear, of showing that I care what another person is saying, of giving them the attention they deserve because of who they are. I should count it a privilege and honor that my family and friends would choose me to tell a story to, to talk about what happened in their day, to want to just spend time with me, rather than my being too busy or too loud. What have I missed out on by not stopping what I’m doing, being still for more than two minutes, remaining unusually quiet, and just patiently listening? How much more would that speak volumes of love to others with that simple, but meaningful act of love?
There’s another even more important Person who delights in and desires to spend time with us in quiet stillness with a listening ear as a personal response to what He has done for us by His grace and His own love for us. Have you ever thought about that? Your Creator longs each day to spend time alone with you, just you, and offers you His faithful presence to hear about your day, what you’re excited about or what you are struggling with. Yet, He also desires to speak to you and for you to listen to what He has to say to you because He cares about you and wants to cultivate a relationship with you through His Son Jesus. That requires daily intentional, busy-free time with Him, listening to Him by reading and studying His Word, which is His main source of speaking to you.
Are you causing your Heavenly Father to wait because of your busy activities and responsibilities while quickly voicing brief prayers to Him? Are you ready to sit still, listen, and just enjoy being with Him, giving Him the attention He deserves because of who He is? Remember that God is the One who orchestrates your days and activities and knows how best to balance what He’s given you stewardship over. Are you giving God your coveted time, more than five minutes, to learn what He is like, allowing time in His presence and His Word to prepare you for your day, which is granted to you by God Himself? What if your Heavenly Father asked you the same question as the little girl in our opening story, “My child, do you really love Me even if you don’t have time to listen to me?” What have you missed out on by not taking the time to stop what you are doing and just being alone with your Savior? Your time with Him and your listening ear will speak volumes of love to the One who loved you first.
“Be still, and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:10a)
“If anyone has ears to hear, he should listen!” (Mark 4:23)
“This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!” (Matthew 17:5)