I sat across a restaurant booth with a friend one day. We were talking about life and sharing our hearts. There was a pause, and she said to me, “you are one of the best listeners I know. “
I was blessed I had made her feel that I had heard her; she was cared for and safe.
When my children were young, I was torn between trying to be a good homemaker and being a mom while living with a hearing loss. I allowed myself to be distracted and divided in ways I regret now. My mind flashbacked to times when I hadn’t been as good of a listener.
I remember the looks on my children’s faces as they longed for me to sit and hear what they were saying instead of trying to listen in between tasks and things that had to be done.Tweet
My children have not always felt I had been a good listener, and I am sure many days they didn’t feel very loved, cared for, and safe that way.
Last night I was thinking about the heaviness in my heart over the news of yet another loved one battling cancer and dealing with some hard things in their life. I had a moment chatting with the Lord. My thoughts wandered, and I began thinking about how God carries all these things, and yet, He still makes me feel like I have his full attention every time I go to Him in prayer or talk to HIm about things that I am struggling with inside my heart.
It is as though He is sitting with me across that booth and nothing else is in between us. I am talking, and His eyes are focused on me, and He is listening.
He is the best listener I know.
Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:12-13 (NASB)
The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call on Him in truth. Psalm 145:18 (NASB)
For a relationship to be healthy, both sides have a responsibility to be actively participating.Tweet
Our responsibility is to do the work of seeking after God. We are to pursue that time with Him, not just half heartily or while multi-tasking the rest of life but with our whole heart and our whole attention.
If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer. “Psalm 66:18-19 (ESV)
Therefore confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:16 (ESV)
The other part of our responsibility is to check our hearts. Are we cherishing sin in our hearts? Is there habitual and unconfessed sin clogging our hearts?
When sin, tension, and unconfessed issues linger in our relationships, it affects communication. We don’t want to talk to people, and our ears are not open to listening to them either.Tweet
As I grow in the Lord, I bring my heart to Him much quicker. Conviction and confession come much sooner, and we become closer.
There will be moments along this journey in our relationship with God where we feel like He is quiet. We will have times when it seems as though He is not hearing or answering our prayers. It may cause us to question whether God is actually there or if He is hearing us.
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? Oh my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.
Even King David struggled this way.
These are the moments where the enemy wants us to question who God is to us. He wants us to question who we are to God.Tweet
Despite the truth that God hears us, there will be times of waiting. God will tell us no sometimes. God hearing us and answered prayer doesn’t automatically mean a yes answer. Sometimes God says, “not yet” or “no.”
Just like we give those answers to our children sometimes, God gives them to us.
I have been through seasons of waiting and the “not yet”, and I still am in those seasons. I have seen God allow things to happen that make no sense at all, leaving me to wonder if He has heard anything I have said or listened to my heart on anything.
I have returned to Him later, thanking Him for some “no” answers. I have also seen Him answer yes and in some creative ways. I have learned that what seems like a no is more like a not yet in the long run.
The more I get to know God through His Word, prayer, and relationship with Him and other believers, the more I know and learn His heart.Tweet
Time with Him becomes more and more like that time sitting across from a friend in a restaurant booth, talking and listening to one another.
I can’t help but thank Him for being a friend who hears me and makes me feel like, despite all that is going on around us, I am who He is focused on at that moment.
Seek Him with your whole heart today. Sit with Him, let Him ask you those questions about what is in your heart. Confess those things to Him, and enjoy talking to Him. No matter the answers or the waiting times, remember He loves you, His heart is for you, and He hears you.