My kids are always asking me, “Daddy, how do you know when God is talking to you?”
They have this hunger, this desire to hear God’s voice. And they want it to be clear, they want it to be big, they want it to be powerful. And so I am often explaining that it’s usually subtle. And quiet. And whispered.
“But how do you know…?” they persist.
It is a difficult question—a more difficult answer. And it always leads me to wonder at how we crave God’s voice, that subtle Spirit move within us. There is an awakening, as we learn that God can in fact speak to us. We want to hear him, we want the connection; the guiding and comfort of the Creator-voice.
…today, if you hear his voice… Psalm 95:7
These are words of possibility. These are words of hope to me. “Today, if…” It means I could. Today he could speak. More accurately, today I could hear. Today his voice could break through all the stuff that clogs my hearing. Today God could grasp my attention and speak. Today I might hear him.
It is remarkable to me that with so much desire for his voice I have such trouble with the hearing. Am I so easily distracted? So quickly drawn to other things that I don’t listen long? That I don’t wait for the gentle whisper? Of course, that answer is a regretful, “Yes.” I run quickly to God, but just as quickly back to “living” life. Why do I insist on keeping the two separate? I hurriedly, almost reflexively seek him through out my day. But I rarely linger and simply—quietly—just listen. Why do I keep on acting as if prayer is just a chance for me to talk?
If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear. Mark 4:23
I don’t know on how many occasions Jesus says these exact words, or variations on these words, or how many times he simply invites us to hear what is being said—what is really being said. But I know that it occurs multiple times. Jesus is always offering for us to hear. It seems God too wants his voice heard.
“If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” In the future I would like to return to this thought and look more at the ideas surrounding the how of hearing, and the why of not hearing. But for today it would be enough just to have ears for hearing.
God, I pray you give me ears to hear today.