June 8, 2020

The first parsonage I lived in was very close to a railroad crossing.  Trains were constantly rolling by, blowing their horns to warn everyone to stay off the tracks.  That first night, when I fell asleep, I was immediately awaken by the loud horns.  I wondered how anyone ever got any sleep.

A few days later, I noticed the trains no longer bothered me.  It was as if I didn’t hear the horns blowing or the train cars loudly rolling by.  It was a nonissue.  I had become inoculated against the sound.  Sadly, I think there are times when the same applies to my relationship with God.

I know that God is always speaking through scripture, people, nature, music, art, literature, dreams, prayer, my conscience, the list goes on and on and on…..

But even though God is speaking, I rarely hear.  Just like I tuned out the roaring trains, I have the unique ability to tune out God.  There are two reasons for this.

First, I tune God out by refusing to actively listen for God to speak to the circumstance of my life.  That’s because God usually wants me to change my self-centered, narcissistic behavior.  I’d rather not.

Second, I tune God out because hearing God means living for the greater good.  It’s inconvenient.

Moses heard God speak through a burning bush and ended up spending forty years in the wilderness with a complaining, whining group of people that were unappreciative of all that God had done.

Elijah heard God’s voice in the silence and knew his battle with the most evil king in Israel’s history was not over.

Saul heard God’s voice as he was struck blind and became the greatest missionary the world has ever seen.

Hearing God speak is a call for each of us to make a difference in a world that is fractured, angry, and losing hope.  This is exactly what Isaiah experienced when he heard God’s call:  “Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)

As the protests against racial discrimination continue, and the world is shaken by the pandemic, it is vitally important that those who follow Jesus actively listen for God’s voice of guidance, comfort, wisdom, grace, and peace.  We do this because when the smoke clears and we see the truth, God’s all we’ve really got.

Prayer:  Dear Gracious Heavenly God, in those moments when I tune you out, open my ears that I may truly hear, my eyes that I may truly see, and my mind that I may truly understand.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Today, God will speak to you.  It is the voice that matters most.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.
Tom Robbins