What is God Doing?? Agh!!!

4 02 2014

earI have been going through a reading guide from the YouVersion site called “Bask in the Light of Jesus.”

Today’s verse was from Revelation 2:7, “He who has an ear, let him hear…” — I will just stop there for now. This phrase is used over and over in the New Testament. I often pause at that line and wonder about my own ears. If I had been the one sitting with Jesus…

  • Would I be a listener of would I already think I knew what He was going to say?
  • Would I have my ears open or would my mind be made up?
  • Would I be in the moment or would I be already thinking of my next question?
  • Would I say “but Jesus…” and argue? (eek…I can see myself doing this).

I am prone to do all of these things.

I know that I have had many opportunities in my life to learn how to listen, but none have been as obvious as these past two years…and on it goes. Over and over and over again I have had to strain my ears to hear. This has not been of my own choosing (never is) and at times it has been very painful.

Listening is a discipline…believe me…it’s a discipline. As I look back, there are moments where I think I have done OK at listening, but I can think of many more times when I have not. I have been restless just listening and my own anxiousness has been deafening. I can, in a matter of seconds, go from sitting to standing to pacing.

I think I could be a good listener if God were louder, and especially if God were quicker. If He were more “get it, got it, good” rather than…sit…stay…yield…I would find this more to my liking, more fitting to my nature.

Proverbs 2 says some awesome things about listening though…

“Tune your ears to wisdom,

and concentrate on understanding.

Cry out for insight and understanding.

Search for them as you would for lost money or hidden treasure…”

Tune my ear.

Honestly, I am so used to listening to myself that tuning in is hard. This is when I cry out, “What is God doing? Agh!!!” Proverbs says crying out is actually a good thing…as long as I actually want to listen to God and not have Him simply listen to me.

Proverbs goes on to say,

“Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God. For the LORD grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He grants a treasure of good sense to the godly. He is their shield, protecting those who walk with integrity. He guards the paths of justice and protects those who are faithful to him. Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will know how to find the right course of action every time. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy.”

If I will just calm down, sit a while and listen, I will be given good sense about the matters of life, I will come under the protection of God’s wisdom, I will gain understanding and actually find the right course of action (not just my preferred course). And in that place…that place…I will find joy.

And isn’t that what I want anyway?

A word about “understanding.” As I am coming to see, understanding is not necessarily that “aha” moment where everything makes sense to me. I think understanding has more to do with me understanding something about God then it has to do with all the pieces falling into place for me. There are a ton — a ton — of things that don’t make human sense. There are boatloads of things that, in this lifetime, will not resolve like a math equation (perhaps not the best illustration for me, since most math equations are unresolvable for me…but you know what I mean). But in the “grand scheme” — the one that my mind can not fathom — I can come to see the greatness of a God who has the whole world in his hands, and time from beginning to end, and the greater good…the “all things work together for good” kind of good, as His best interest.

When we comfort each other in our disappointments over our particular “thing” that hasn’t fallen into place, what has helped me is knowing that God is not Lord over the simple and manageable things alone. He is Lord overall. Over all. He is mighty to save, and often we need saving…often we need to be saved from the thing we are wringing our hands over.

Revelation 2 goes on. When we as Christ followers link up, Christ calls us “the church” and Revelation 2 calls us to have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches. This is an individual thing and a corporate thing and in both cases, we need to listen to the Spirit. Listen hard and trust hard. God will do things that make perfect sense to us, and sometimes He will do things that don’t make perfect sense to us. He does not need to explain everything, He only needs to explain His nature, which He has already: it is love.

All I know is, in my life right now, there are several things that don’t make sense. There are things that weigh on my chest uncomfortably. I know, I know, I know I must take the posture of a listener. The patient posture of a listener and I must not allow my “not understanding” to morph into fear, anger, bitterness, anxiety…but trust…the open handed posture of child to Father.

Phrases like this are good to learn:

“Speak Lord, your servant is listening.”

“I will listen to what God, the Lord, will say…”

“As for me, I watch in hope for the LORD. I wait for God my Savior…”

Almost always, the best thing I can do is just stop talking or fretting or ruminating over whatever it is and just…be….quiet.

– Teresa Klassen

Afterword:

When I lay these questions before God I get no answer. But a rather special sort of ‘No answer.’ It is not the locked door. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. As though He shook His head not in refusal but waiving the question. Like, ‘Peace, child; you don’t understand.

— C.S. Lewis

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