can enhance our

Wednesday Reflection

4th November 2020

'...I listen better when I'm lonely'

We often miss hearing God's voice
simply because we aren't paying attention.

The American evangelist and pastor,
Rick Warren,
tells the story of a friend's daughter,
who finally came in
from playing in the garden
with her friends
having been called
numerable times,
she said to her mother,
'Sorry I didn't come
when you called, Mummy,
I didn't even hear you.
I think I listen better
when I'm lonely.'

Her big brother burst out giggling,
'You mean alone,'
he corrected
with year eight expertise,
'You listen better when you're alone.'

Unconcerned with matters of linguistics,
she shrugged he shoulders and said,
'Mummy knows what I mean.'

Mummy did;
but thinking about it,
those words hold a truth for all of us.
Sometimes we listen better when we're lonely.

Moses was tending his sheep
on his own in the wilderness
when he heard the voice of God
from the burning bush.

Elijah was standing alone
on the mountainside
when he heard the voice of God
whisper in the wind.

John was imprisoned
on a remote island
when he heard
the voice of Jesus
inviting him to write down
the final revelation of Scripture.

And although we've probably
never found ourselves
alone in the wilderness
or abandoned on a desert island,
we've inevitably been in
lonely spaces
and hard pressed places.

Maybe we've been called to a job
beyond our comfort zone
or distances
from a community we cherished;
or navigating a situation
friends cannot understand;
or carrying a burden
that no-one can fix.

Though loneliness is something
few would choose,
there's a gift hidden there
if we care to discover it.

Loneliness reveals our longing
to hear from the one
who sees our needs
and feels our aches.
It is often in loneliness
that we turn to
our Bibles to find God.

Paul, in his writings in Hebrews,
reminds us that the Bible
isn't just for information;
it's also interactive.
God's Word isn't a static tome
of wisdom from the past;
it's the energetic sound
of his voice in the present.

12 For the word of God
   is alive and powerful.
   It is sharper than the sharpest
   two-edged sword,
   cutting between soul and spirit,
   between joint and marrow.
   It exposes our innermost
   thoughts and desires.

.... 4:12. NLT

It's amazing but true;
through the Holy Spirit,
Jesus can provide just the word
we need through
the Bible's ancient truth.
He speaks to
each one of us personally;
he knows exactly
what we need to hear
and when we need to hear it.

The more time we spend with Jesus,
the more we will know his voice.

We've all experienced it
at some time or another;
we pick up the Bible,
open it
and what we need at that moment
jumps off the page for us.

Maybe it's time to turn our
lonely times into listening times,
so we can discover
for ourselves
that the words
of that little girl are true.

Loneliness really does
enhance our hearing;
but best of all,
we may find that hearing
alleviates our loneliness too;
because when we hear
the voice of Jesus,
we remember
we're never really alone.