A Time to Listen
by Maria Wenner
As I think about how things have changed over the last month, I think of some good and some not so good. I am working from home 5 days a week. I enjoy not having to get up before the sunrises and drive to the office. And I love the fact that while I’m working from home I can take a few minutes and start a load of laundry or go through the mail or throw dinner in the crock pot. Some not so good things: moments of insecurity, anxiety, fear, sadness, turmoil.
I often stop and pray during the day and take my worries and concerns to Jesus. These days my prayer is often for things like “please Lord help us find a cure for the virus quickly and keep my mom and dad safe until we do”. I talk to Jesus intermittently throughout the day and night. However, spending time listening to God does not come so naturally for me. Reading is not my favorite activity. Sure, there are many other ways to listen to God. Sunday morning messages; music; podcasts, etc. These all have a place in our lives. And I know my relationship with Jesus would be that much sweeter if I would spend just a few minutes each day reading His Word and allowing Him to minister to me. . At first, I thought maybe it was the devotional that wasn’t the right topic for me or the right author for me to connect with or the right, whatever, for me, so I have LOTS of great devotionals sitting on the bookshelf. But that’s not it. I’ve come to realize it’s the heart of the matter. My heart specifically.
I many times use the excuse that if I did not have to wake up at 5 am and drive an hour and a half to work, surely I would spend time listening to Jesus. If I wasn’t so busy at the end of the day, surely I would spend time reading the Word. I thought surely during this difficult situation I would get back into my devotions and spend quality time learning from Jesus. Well, I don’t have to get up super early to go to work right now. I’m not super busy at the end of the day. There is nowhere to go and I have free time. I could spend it in God’s Word. But I don’t. I continue to fill my time with things that I prefer to do.
In the past there were times when I was able to get into the habit of opening my devotional for a few days or a few weeks or sometimes a few months in a row but inevitably I would miss a day here and there and next thing you know, it’s been weeks or months since I’ve had consistent times listening to Jesus... Maybe He doesn’t want this to be just another routine in my life. Could that be part of my struggle?
I know that regardless of the time I spend or don’t spend listening to Jesus He still loves me and pursues me. He is patient, kind and faithful. I am grateful that He is not finished with me yet. I am a work in progress. I recently starting reading Psalm 51: 1-12 and listening to Jesus is slowly becoming part of my day again. I don’t want it to be another thing I check off of my to do list. I want it to be something I long for and look forward to each day that gives me joy and life and strength and sustains me and shows we how to love others well and how to thrive during this current crisis.