Hear [heer]–to learn by the ear or by being told; be informed of
Listen [lis-uhn]–to pay attention; heed; obey (from dictionary.com)
I’ve thought about blogging several times this week but didn’t ever get to it. And even if I did, I really don’t know just what I would have written about. It’s been one of those weeks! Like I’ve been out to the woodshed constantly. Most certainly because I was slow in learning the lesson God had for me. I’m sure that’s never happened to you. 🙂
Recall from my last post how the Lord taught me a valuable lesson through my recent labor and delivery: embrace trials as from the Lord…look beyond the trials to God’s victory and SPEAK His victory into your situation. Well, as the Lord had formed those thoughts in my mind, I remember thinking at the time, this lesson will have great significance to me–but I knew it wasn’t for “now.”
Fast forward only a week or so, though, and it’s like that little lesson was all but forgotten! This week was, I kid you not, a CONSTANT barrage of “stuff.” Testing-of-my-patience stuff. And, I must say, although I persevered through the first few days of “trials”, I was ready to give up by Thursday, and on Friday there were a couple of moments where I actually gave in to tears. This is not something I normally do. And I don’t think it was post-partum hormones, either (though my husband might disagree…).
Then last night (“Mom’s night off,” with Daddy outside working with everyone but the baby), I decided to pick up where I left off in a great little volume that my husband and I have been working through together: “The Breaking of the Outer Man and the Release of the Spirit,” by Watchman Nee. It’s about (perhaps obviously) how we must allow our outer man to be broken through the discipline of the Holy Spirit if we are to be effective in serving God fully. Of course, God used this to speak to me about how I had responded to the events of the week. I came away very convicted about failing to receive every event as a shaping experience from the Lord’s hand…also convicted about an attitude that was less-than-stellar. Not that I hadn’t been aware of these things during the course of the week–but now it became more than obvious that I needed to repent.
As I reflected on all of these things this morning (and re-read my last blog–another conviction, ouch!), I realized that when I should have been putting the Lord’s timely lesson about “trials” into practice, I was more focused on the trials than on the Lord. I wondered, since this was such a recent “revelation,” just how could I have failed to apply it?
As if in answer to my question, the Lord brought to mind a phrase that is all-too-common in our house: “But I didn’t hear you!” How many times do I ask the children to do something (and they could be standing right in front of me!), only to have to repeat myself a few minutes later when I realize that they’re not obeying? And their response?: “But I didn’t hear you!” And my typical retort: “If you hear me speaking, chances are I’m not talking to myself–so you should be listening!” (And of course we’re practicing saying, “Yes, Mom!” after I ask them to do something, just so that I know they heard me.) Point is, I realized that I knew God had spoken something to me and I had heard–but maybe I wasn’t really listening. If I had been, perhaps I would have obeyed! I might as well have said, “But I didn’t hear you, God!” And His response? I bet it would be something like, “If you hear me speaking, chances are I’m not talking to myself–so you should be listening!”
“See, a king will reign in righteousness and rulers will rule with justice… . Then the eyes of those who see will no longer be closed, and the ears of those who hear will listen” (Isaiah 32:1, 3).