Will I Need Advice Today?

5 05 2010

The house is as quiet as it is going to get.  Mike took the kids to school this morning. Mom is downstairs having her coffee and I am sitting in my room, listening: a faint hum from my computer; a creak in the rafters somewhere; the sound of a car driving down the road. The dog whines to be let in; out the corner of my eye I see my cell-phone light up. It’s Nathan, at school early for track-meet but (because of the weather) it is canceled; response: sympathy. Quiet again.

This is what I hear in our house. But what else do I hear?

Proverbs 1:23-24 tells me that God wants to make me wise today; He wants to tell me His very thoughts. He reaches out His hand and calls out to me. He wants to advise me.

Will I need advice today? Without a doubt. I don’t think I even need to spell that out, do I?

It’s hard watching someone ignore good advice. It’s hard as a parent watching your kids learn from consequences rather than the good advice they have been given, which would have spared them a world of hurt.

It’s hard watching myself do that. Why won’t I listen?

Listening is an interesting exercise. It is something I do unconsciously, picking up whatever is large; it is something I do consciously, particularly if I am eavesdropping. But rarely do I put on my schedule, “8:30 a.m.: listen.”

There are some things I just never pick up if I don’t let things settle enough, get quiet enough, to hear them. How magnified is God’s voice in most people’s lives? More commonly it comes as a whisper (think Elijah, 1 Kings 19); which, I think, God does on purpose.

God calls. He says He does; but in a proper sort of way. He is like the teacher who stands in front of the class and speaks in a reasonable voice. The class is unruly and out-of-hand; but He doesn’t shout like a maniac to bring order. He goes on with what He has to say, giving instructions until the class realizes they are missing something important and suddenly everyone is all, “Shhhhh. Shhhhhh.”

Whoever will listen to God’s wisdom will, “live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.” (v. 33) Put another way, we will understand the assignment. We will know the parameters. We will be aware of the resources we have at our disposal. We won’t give up because we know the promises that make it doable.  When we hit rough patches, we won’t freak out, because we have listened and heard that our God is always with us and will never leave us and is constantly there to advise and encourage and sustain us. We aren’t going to stay up until 2 a.m. fretting; we will put our head on our pillow and sleep, knowing we are moving ahead at the right pace.

That’s what happens when we are listening.

— Teresa Klassen

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