Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
Jeremiah 33:3 ESV
My sister and I talk on the phone two or three times a week. I love talking to my sister. She lives halfway across the country, and when we have a few minutes to catch up, I attempt to get in as much information as she can absorb. My news starts with the kids, then school, how are our parents doing, the weather, possible travel plans and so on and so on.
My sweet sister graciously listens and, when she can, inserts a few words of encouragement or approval. Our time done, I disconnect the call feeling quite satisfied. Wait, what’s up in my sister’s life? I did it again, I chatted, she listened…and listened…and listened. I enjoy talking.
Sometimes we have to stop talking and start listening.
Talking more than listening causes more problems than not staying up to date with family. God’s Word has a lot to say about staying quiet. Solomon penned warnings about too much talking. In Proverbs 18:2 he points out fools avoid understanding, instead they talk about their personal opinions. A few verses further down, the king says fools that answer before hearing possess folly and shame. My favorite reminder to be quiet is in James 1:19 where he instructs us to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.
If we are talking all the time, we can’t hear.
With all my talking, my sister is not the only one I don’t hear. God’s still small voice has trouble getting through as well. In my prayer time, I come to God with a list of news, and a whole index of needs, worries and troubles that He already knows. How can God get a word in? I need to be quiet and listen. When I quiet my mind and soul to hear God speak, He whispers his grace and mercy into my heart. My needs become less important and His voice becomes louder.
Quieting my talking requires practice. Breathing out and in helps and being more conscious of my talking. Now, when my sister calls, I want to hear the news in her life and our conversations are more balanced.
In my time with God I want to do the same. Yet, sometimes I don’t. I come to my time in prayer with a list of things to discuss with God. I offer a series of needs, wants, worries and troubles, ask for forgiveness, and end with a thank you. Amen. When we do all the talking, we can’t hear God speak.
Just like time talking with my sister, I wanted to be intentional in listening and not doing all the talking.
You know what I heard? God’s still small voice whispering how He loves me.
Do you come to God with lots to talk about and not spend time being quiet and still? It’s easy to do. Our lives are full of needs and concerns. God knows about all of it and He is waiting to tell you something. Listen.
Today, slow down, stop talking and listen. Breath in and out. Meditate on scripture and let God’s Word speak to your heart. He is whispering in a still small voice how much He loves you. He is waiting to tell you great and hidden things.
Father God, praise You for your patience. You wait for me to slow down and listen. Thank You for telling me how much You love me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Proverbs 3:6 ESV, “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
Psalm 66:19 ESV, “But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.”
Make a place to hear God. A quiet room, cozy chair, a mug of your favorite coffee. Breathe in and out slowly and listen. What do you hear?