As I’m sitting at my desk trying to decide what I should share this week, it occurs to me that no matter what I write, you will have to make some assumptions about my tone. Yesterday, we started our time in Habakkuk discussing the communication challenge that has existed since the written word was first chiseled onto a rock. When we speak to one another person face to face, we not only hear the words being spoken but the tone it is spoken in as well as seeing the unspoken communication such as body language. But when we write our thoughts down, be it in a old school letter or a text, the only thing that is communicated is the specific words themselves. We have to assume the tone and the other underlying thoughts. I realized this morning that the same is true with my weekly updates! So to clear any uncertainty since you can’t see or hear me, I am smiling as I write with my usual positive, if not slightly sarcastic, personality. Not sure if that clears the air but hopefully it helps as you read my writings. (feel free to insert an eye roll at me here!)
As complicated as communication can be with all of its misunderstandings, God is never confused when we speak to Him. Not only do we speak to Him rather than write (although we can journal our prayers), but He also hears more than just the words we’re speaking—-He knows our hearts, our inner most being, our deepest desires and hurts. He’s never distracted by what we might be saying “behind the words” because He knows! He knows what we really mean and what we’re not saying. Speaking to God is the most freeing type of communication because we are completely understood even when we ourselves don’t know what we’re saying!
Of course, the second part of communication with God is where we struggle. God understands us perfectly but we often don’t listen to or understand what God is saying back to us. Habakkuk deserves credit for standing still and listening to God’s responses but he, like us, definitely struggles to understand what God is saying to him. It can be so hard to hear God speak. He speaks in numerous and often subtle ways and yet He does speak nevertheless. And it’s in hearing God’s voice that we find peace. We NEED to hear God’s voice, then. Not just to hear the answers to our questions but, more importantly, to experience the peace of His voice and presence. And so while God needs no work on His communication skills, we most definitely do! How will you practice listening this week? How can you carve time out to hear God and know His voice? Maybe at the Dwelling Place this Wednesday at 7pm. Maybe tomorrow morning in the predawn quiet of your living room. Maybe on your lunch break sitting in the peace and quiet of your car. One way or another, will you make time to simply listen for God’s voice in your life this week?
In Christ Alone,