An Unexpected Gift

by Jan 6, 2017Easy and Light

An Unexpected Gift

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

John 6:63 (ESV)

The week before Christmas, I came down with legit laryngitis. Not being able to utter a single syllable or a decibel of sound made communicating extremely frustrating. After a few days, I realized how heavily I relied on verbal communication. I also realized that being a predominantly verbal communicator meant that I was not a good listener. Ouch. I was humbled as I attempted to jump in with my opinion, give a command to my kids or request something from my husband-only to be denied the ability. This setback became an unexpected gift: I was forced to listen. God was teaching me that listening is an act of love. It invites, it welcomes… it comes from a heart of humility, counting someone else more significant that you. Listening is a ministry. Many times God wants to use us as a channel to affirm His love with a gentle touch, looking someone in the eye, knowing they are heard, they are seen. Our attention conveys value. We minister to others by listening, not always by spouting out scripture, praying flowery prayers of poetic language or saying something we feel is notable and wise. “Just as love to God begins with listening to his Word, so the beginning of love for the brethren is learning to listen to them.”- Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Jesus, we thank you that you love us enough to communicate and speak to us. Through the power of Your Spirit, quiet our hearts. Let us sit in awe of who You are. May we stop our selfish chatter enough to hear You speak. We are Your people and we long to hear Your voice. Lord, let us be a people that are quick to listen and slow to speak. We want to hear more of You and less of us.

We can be that thread of love from Jesus to others just by listening to them. Don’t underestimate the power of listening. It’s counter intuitive. It requires concentration. It requires sacrifice. It may be awkward. And it is just plain HARD. But God calls us to listen. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says…” (Rev 3:22). Not only does He want us to listen to each other, but He’s commanding us to listen to HIM.

It’s often easier to say, then to BE. But my prayer is that we’d spend more time being and listening to our Master, the Creator and Lover of our Souls, and to each other.

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