James 1:19 – Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. (KJV)
After reading the devotional for August 12th, I was happy to discover that readers could listen to the accompanying hymn. "Unto the Hills" happens to be one of my favourite hymns. Over the several decades of my lifetime, this hymn has held deep meaning for me and has offered endless comfort in time of need.
As I listened to the music, I felt something was wrong: the tune was not the one I had expected!
Listening carefully, I couldn't pick up what was once a distinctly familiar tune. I was disappointed, feeling that I could not relate to this "new" version. It was not until the next day when I tried again to listen to this hymn that I realized that I was really paying attention to the accompanying vocal, instead of to the actual music. I was missing the point!
This led me to think about how so often we miss true communion with God because we are tuned into the distractions of the world. How often do we allow the busyness of our lives to distract us? We can easily be distracted to the point that we are out of touch with God, missing a great opportunity to enter into His presence, to be comforted, reassured, and renewed. We feel out of range of His love and can't figure out why.
Why are we not hearing His voice calling to us? What we need to do is to be quiet and prepare our hearts to hear His voice. Even if great effort is required, we need to ignore the static or the many distracting sounds in our lives, in order to hear Him. Moreover, we need to want to hear God, which might call forth even greater effort on our part to actually ignore the din of the clamouring voices of the world. But the rewards will be well worth the effort. If we listen for His voice, we will hear Him speak to us. Let us approach Him with open minds and respond to Him in the manner in which we are wisely counselled, to "Be still and know…"
Prayer: Our Father God, how often we miss Your blessing on our lives because we have not truly listened for Your voice. Caught up in the noise of the everyday world, we miss the opportunity to fellowship with You. Teach us to open our ears, our hearts, and our minds that we may always know and hear the sound of Your voice, even amidst the clamour of this present world. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.