“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”
Speak Lord, your servant is listening.
That line is in one of today’s mass readings and it’s also in a song we sing right before the gospel. I’ve always loved it.
I am His servant and I am listening.
Sometimes it’s hard to hear what He is saying though; really hear. We often hear what we want to hear and shy away from what He might be telling us.
People in general just aren’t good listeners. We would rather be talking, texting, reading, or doing something else. Listening is an art. It’s a skill and something we have to work on being good at. We all know the empty feeling of talking to someone we know isn’t really listening and yet we are guilty of doing the very same thing.
Even during sermons in church. We fidget, we look around, we let our minds wander. But, we should be listening to the Word of God with open hearts and open ears. It is a true blessing to listen to God. It is how we obtain His blessings and improve our relationship with Him. Yes, we also pray to Him, but praying to God is not the same as listening to Him. Prayer is how we speak to God but it’s not how He speaks to us. He speaks to us through His word and in many little ways throughout our days. It’s up to us to hear those words.
Throughout the bible there are examples of those who did not listen to God from the outset. Eli. Nathanael, and even Samuel until God called to him, saying “Samuel! Samuel!” Then, Samuel finally replied, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” After that, God spoke to Samuel regularly and Samuel listened. He eventually became a prophet and is a shining example for us all.
Every morning the first thing I do is read my “Jesus Calling” devotional. Today’s reading was so timely as I grapple with listening to God and wondering what His plans are for my life even as I always repeat “the will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you.” God also said “Follow me” (John 21:19), so it was with an open heart and open ears that I read:
Jesus Calling: January 18
I am leading you along the high road, but there are descents as well as ascents. In the distance you see snow-covered peaks glistening in brilliant sunlight. Your longing to reach those peaks is good, but you must not take shortcuts. Your assignment is to follow Me, allowing Me to direct your path. Let the heights beckon you onward, but stay close to Me.
Learn to trust Me when things go wrong. Disruptions to your routine highlight your dependence on Me. Trusting acceptance of trials brings blessings that far outweigh them all. Walk hand in hand with Me through the day. I have lovingly planned every inch of the way. Trust does not falter when the path becomes rocky and steep. Breathe deep draughts of My presence, and hold tightly to My hand. Together we can make it.
Concluding Prayer Father, thank you for your great love and care for me. Thank you for the promise of directing my paths. Lord, help me to be open to new heights. I want to serve You with all my heart and I pray that You would direct me to the best place for me to serve You. Lord, I don’t know if I’m the best place right now. It’s providing for me and yet it is very empty. Do you want me to change? Is there another path you want to direct me towards? Things won’t always go the way I want them to and when this happens keep me connected to You Lord. I feel my road is steep right now and I admit, I think the answer often is for me to run out and solve a problem in a way I only think it can be solved. Do I think that you really can do something beyond my understanding? Lord, I want to trust you. I want to believe You. More than I know myself.
“Don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow. Live one day at a time.”
Reading all of that as I woke up from a restless night gave me both chills and peace of mind. It literally and figuratively woke me up. What an amazing God we have who asks us only to listen. Let’s all try to make “Speak Lord, your servant is listening” our goal and our motto today and every day.