Genesis 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10
Psalm 29:1-4, 9-10
Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear? (Mark 8:18)
Listening is hard. There are lots of obstacles: people don’t always communicate clearly, or we might react emotionally to what we’re hearing. But perhaps the most common obstacle to listening is when we think we already know what someone is trying to say, and we don’t pay close enough attention to his or her words. Our minds are already full of our own thoughts.
It appears that the disciples are guilty of this in today’s Gospel reading. After a busy time of ministry and travel, they have their minds on their next meal. When Jesus tries to give them a spiritual warning, they assume he is talking about food. Jesus spends some time trying to show them that he’s not worried about the next meal. He has already shown that he can provide food! No, he wants to talk about some much larger issues.
This story highlights the fact that as hard as it can be to listen to other people, it can be even harder to listen to God. It takes work to begin to see things from his perspective, to be able to hear what he wants to say to us. Just think: does it make sense to worry about not having bread in the boat when you’ve just seen Jesus feed thousands of people with just a few loaves and fish? There were even leftovers! But like the disciples, we can tend to focus on our needs and problems, which in turn can prevent us from hearing the things God may be saying to us.
Of course God is concerned with your daily needs. Of course he wants you to bring them to him. But don’t let that be the only thing you do in prayer. Be sure to take time to listen to him, to hear him on his terms. Remember: he wants to reveal his mind to you. He wants to share his thoughts with you. This is a great privilege, something to treasure every day!
Do you leave some time each day to listen to God? It’s not easy, and sometimes it’s just silence, but if we make the space, God will speak. There is so much he wants to say to you!
“Lord, give me ears to hear your voice.”~WAU