My mother lives two states away, and neither of us are much able to travel and see each other, so we talk to each other on the phone. From time to time my mother has issues either with her computer or her television set, and calls me with questions. Often she is so busy asking me questions about the problem that she doesn’t take time to listen to what I’m saying. I will tell her: “Mom, you can’t listen if you are talking.” I sometimes wonder if God would say the same thing to us?
We can get so busy in our lives that we do not take time to listen to God, to read His word, to speak, and then be silent in prayer before Him. We can get so caught up in our problems and the issues in our lives that we fail to hear that still small voice of God whispering in our ears. We need to talk to God in prayer, but we also need to listen.
When my thorn is hurting me particularly bad, and pain and misery is filling up my life, I can become deaf to anything God might be trying to tell me, and blind to anything He might be trying to show me. My guess is that you have been, and maybe are now, in the same situation.
Hearing God in the midst of the storms of our lives can be a challenge. We can get so focused on the wind and the waves of affliction that it absorbs all of our attention. Trying to and peel our eyes and ears and thoughts off of the storm around us can be difficult, but I think we must if we are to find our way through the storms of life.
Forcing ourselves into stillness and silence may be the action required to bring about the resolution of our tribulation, seeking to look beyond the storm and listening beyond the noise of our trials and tribulations may be the recipe for resolution of our troubles.
Maybe you are faced with a particularly challenging time right now. Maybe the issues of your life have stolen away your attention so that you are having difficulty focusing upon anything but your problems and challenges. I would encourage you to stop, take a breath, silence your thoughts and your voice, look up, and ask God for the answers to your perplexing problems. He may not give you an audible answer, but if you will listen and pay attention, perhaps He will show you a way forward through your problems.
We all need help from time to time, perhaps an encouraging word, maybe a bit of insight from someone we trust. None of us have all the answers and we all have our share of problems. When you are tempted to shout from the rooftop about the troubles in your life, go ahead and do so, but then make time for silence afterward, to get quiet in your soul, and listen for the voice of the Lord, watch for His guiding hand to lead you through your storm. And remember that it is hard to hear an answer if you are doing all the talking.
Prayer: Dear Lord, sometimes the noise of our problems drown out Your voice of guidance in our storms. Help us to be still, be silent, and listen for Your guiding voice. Amen.
About the Author:
Karlton Douglas lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. Sometimes he needs to be still and quiet before the Lord and listen.
Does the noise of your problems drown out the gentle voice of God? Do you take time to listen after taking your problems to Him?