Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Jesus Thou Joy Of Loving Hearts"1 (Lyrics)

Matthew 13:9 – Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand. (NLT)

My husband has a moderate-to-severe hearing loss and wears hearing aids. At first, they were the basic kind. As we drove in the car, he would complain, "You're talking to the windshield. I can't hear you." I would get impatient with this comment every time. I didn't understand that the sound was going into his ears, but had no meaning for him.

Later at the hearing centre, we explored new technology in hearing aids. The audiologist had asked that I be present, and played several recordings for my edification. The first was a scenario in a crowded, busy restaurant. A couple was interacting with the server above the background noise. I followed the conversation amidst clanking cutlery and general hubbub. "And this is how Terry hears it," he said. What came up was half the conversation, the other half distorted, muffled waves of sounds, totally incomprehensible. I burst into tears, finally understanding the depth of his hearing loss. "Get those expensive hearing aids!" I exclaimed.

Terry got the fancy hearing aids, and his ability to hear and understand improved. My skills at communication with him improved as well. I learned that I first had to get Terry's attention. I had to face him, so that he could see my face and read my lips. I had to speak clearly and enunciate my words carefully. No more trying to communicate by calling from a different room. If I didn't follow these steps, Terry's interpretation of my words ended up being quite different than what I originally meant. I had to listen to these instructions and learn to follow them, so that my husband could hear and understand.

Similarly, we need to learn to listen when God is trying to get our attention, like young Samuel did when God was calling him. Jesus said:

Mark 4:24 – Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given — and you will receive even more. (NLT)

We, too, hear many words in the course of a day. We need to really listen in case God is trying to get our attention and tell us something as well. The Holy Spirit within gives God-meaning to what we are hearing. It is not enough to merely understand that there is something that God wants us to do. We need to obey, and take the appropriate action, as Samuel did.

James 1:21b-22a – Humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. But don't just listen to God's word. You must do what it says. (NLT)

Let's put into practise what we hear and read from the Word. As we do what God is telling us to do, we will hear additional truth more clearly. Our understanding will be sharpened, and we can be more fruitful for His kingdom.

Prayer: Lord, thank You for our faculty of hearing. Help us to pay attention and really listen when we hear or read words that are messages from You, so that we can do what You are asking us to do, for the furtherance of Your kingdom. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Alice Burnett <terrencera.burnett@gmail.com>
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen, Alice.


    Thank you, Alice!


    Thank you for these words and your message.


    Dear Alice – what a great analogy. God Bless you.


    Thank you for sharing this informative devotional with us. It’s been enlightening. Blessings.


    Good morning Alice
    Good advice this morning about putting in practice, thank you for those good words.
    Blessings and thank you.


    Thank you for your devotion today. I too have a husband with a hearing loss. Hearing aids have been a blessing but even they have their limits, unlike God, who is all hearing, all understanding, and all powerful!


    Good morning Alice,
    You’ve written a very meaningful devotional which highlights how important it is that we listen carefully and follow God’s word. The words of Mark 4:24 are definitely words to obey.
    Blessings for your writings.


    Thank you, Alice, for sharing your experience with your husbands hearing loss. My husband is in the same situation and shamefully I too get frustrated when he doesn’t hear me. From now on I will follow the same advice you received.
    Thank you too for the advice that we need to attentatively listen for God’s words to us each day.
    Bless you.


    Thank you for the devotional.
    I am hearing impaired and know well the problems experienced by you and your husband. My expensive hearing aids help but do not fully eliminate the problems.
    Your application to our hearing and understanding God speaking to us is bang on.
    Thank you!
    Blessings.


    Wow! That hit home, especially the hearing loss part. My husband’s hearing has deteriorated. It would help if he would use ear defenders when he works but a lifetime of carpentry/construction has damaged the nerves. He knows, but still doesn’t use them. Get illustration for our own “hard of hearing” issues. I have often asked the Lord to speak louder please. Sometimes He has to hit us over the head with a 2×4 to get our attention! Blessings!


    Good morning Alice
    Thank you for your personal story and it helps me to remember to do those things also. My husband seems to have problems hearing also. Maybe not to your husband’s degree but still good ideas to help him hear and remove the frustration of not hearing each other properly.
    Yes, to have the hearing like Samuel and the obedience!!!!
    Thank you again.
    God bless and have a wonderful weekend.


    Alice,
    Thank you for the beautiful devotion! It is critical for us to listen to God, but also to take action on what He needs us to do in this life.
    Most importantly, thank you for explaining how hearing aids work. This information was so educational for me. A few years ago, my sister (who I live with) got her first pair. I thought it would help return her hearing but found it so frustrating. Now I know how they work through your explanation. Thank you! And I won’t speak to her from another room anymore!
    Blessings to you.


    Dear Alice,
    Isn’t it amazing when we have our eyes or ears opened and are able to understand what others are going through. You were blessed to have an audiologist able to show you what it was like for your husband. As Christians we are blessed to believe and have God and the Holy Spirit show us what others may be going through and how we might be of aid. You have used a very good example, which definitely reminds me to listen for what God is telling me and reminding me to do something with it. Thanks for sharing a great message and wishing you a great day with good hearing and seeing and acting. Blessings.


    Dear Alice,
    My husband has hearing loss and I was tired of being told to “not talk to the window” while in the car too. Being impromptu with comments about what you see out the window was just not working. Those who live with partners that have hearing loss must learn patience, as they often must repeat themselves. However, my husband was willing to get tested and the situation has been improved. I have friends whose stubborn partners refuse testing out of pride and they both suffer.
    I am glad your husband was willing to cooperate!
    Blessings.


    Thank You for your incredibly thoughtful and interesting Devotional, which described my life and my experiences with my wife exactly!
    Except that you appear to have much greater patience and understanding. I have a hearing aid / radio receiver in one ear, and a transmitter in the other.
    It helps a great deal but is not perfect.
    EVERY SCENARIO YOU DESCRIBED is lived out In our lives. It is very difficult to live with! I hope and pray that your situation is better than ours. Blessings to you both, in Jesus’s precious name. Amen


    Thank you, Alice, for this devotional explaining hearing loss. I have forwarded it to a family member who often gets annoyed with me, her 87-year-old Mom, who not only has severe hearing loss brought about by neglect resulting in serious mastoid infection. Due to the infection, I lost complete hearing in my right ear, and aging has now made hearing difficult in my left hear. So, in addition to the natural hearing loss as we age, I cope with what happened after the mastoid infection, and 24/7 with the internal voices (which I know is a spiritual attack), as the medical field has ruled out schizophrenia and/or dementia. So, to get what is being said even with my hearing aid it is a great challenge. As you know it can be frustrating for everyone. I hope your devotional will help family members to understand what it is like for the one who cannot hear. But you know the best thing about all this for me, “I can still hear God” and that is a blessing.


    Alice,
    I appreciate that you wrote about this topic. As my husband and I grow older and hearing is more difficult, we can be reminded to focus, hear, listen, and understand, many times each day. Especially to God’s word. Thank you for this blessing and be blessed abundantly.


    Going through the same process with my husband just now; muddier, because I am losing my hearing too! It’s not easy, adapting my behaviour, but reading this made me realize that I am part of the problem.
    Thanks for your insights and the Biblical wisdom,
    (BC)


    A beautiful Saturday to you, Alice, I am almost 97 and gave into all of the complaints about my hearing 2 years. My main problems are with others, i.e., mainly my daughter who I live with, and her hubby who will be stone deaf and says he’ll die deaf. My daughter continually talks to me in normal tons as she is walking away. I repeatedly ask her to stop doing that and sometimes worry some about her memory. I’m sure there are a variety of other problems arise to torment us. In a Billy Graham devotional on my nightstand that I read every night, a recent one about trying to get the Devil out of our lives, he quoted a little girl. She said that when the Devil knocks on her door with a temptation, she sends Jesus to the door. How I love that one.
    God bless you and yours and have a blessed Sunday as you.

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