Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Now That You’ve Prayed, Take the Time to Listen

I have Christian, my darling grandson, this week, which means, I get to play the “mommy” role, all over again.  I know we never stop being mommy, but since my children are 20, 25, and 31, I no longer have to be “mommy.”  Anyway, so yesterday, my first day, I had to get him up, iron his clothes, make sure he washed and got dressed, make him breakfast and get him off to school, all by 8am.  Yes I know for many of you this is no big deal, and at a different time in my life, it was no big deal for me either.  But after being free for the last 15 years (at least) of doing so, it’s quite the adjustment.  So I had to re-adjust my schedule.
Of course, I slept later than I wanted to, so everything was already a little thrown off, including my prayer and devotional time.  Yes it happens.  But thank God that we serve a God who loves us so much, that He won’t let it happen without at least letting us know that it has happened.

In my running yesterday, I stopped at a store to return something and as I was coming out of the store, there was a homeless man, begging.  He asked me for some money to get him something to eat.  In my rush to my car, I said, “Okay, wait a minute.  I have to get to my car first.”  I was thinking that I would go to my car, and pull my wallet out in the car (because wisdom just says that’s the better way of doing something like that), and then go and give it to him.  So I went to my car and purposed to give him a couple of dollars.  I heard the Lord, say, “No, give him the $10 bill.”  So I took that out my wallet and walked back to give it to the man, placing it in his hand.  He then told me to come to him because he wanted to tell me something.  I came no closer and simply said, “No, you can tell me from there.”  I was only about 2 feet away.  And then he went on to tell me that I hurt his feelings, because he was asking me for something and in my rushing, I said no.  I didn’t really know how to respond to this.  I was taken aback and sort of surprised.  First, because he never even said thank you for the money and then for him to be “telling me off” the way he was.  But I told him, “I didn’t tell you no.  I told you I would be right back and I’m here, aren’t I?  I just gave you $10.”  I think I might have rolled my eyes a little bit, but recognized the need to walk in the spirit.  I know I didn’t say what I wanted to say.  Thank You Holy Ghost!   Yet learning how to yield to the Spirit. 
But anyway he said, “Ok, I apologize… but you were rushing.  So busy rushing… not hearing me.”  I just shook my head and said it’s okay and proceeded to walk right next door into the Acme supermarket.   Then he says to me, “Hey you could slow down and walk with me in there.  I’m going there too….  You’re so busy rushing, can’t even take the time to listen.”  Again, I just shook my head in disgust, sort of, hearing that word, rushing… and began to question the Lord… saying, “What is he talking about, Lord? Why did You have me to help this man?  He reeks of alcohol, he’s insulting me, he has no manners… and so on and so on… until I realized that God wasn’t answering me.  So I just said, “Ok Lord.”  And just shrugged my shoulders and went on about my business, getting what I needed from the supermarket.  Then as I left, the man was sitting on the bench in front of the supermarket and I said to him, “Have a great rest of the day, Sir.”  And he just nodded his head at me almost dismissingly.

And I thought about that all the day long yesterday.  Even his dismissal of me.  And this morning I made my adjustments to be able to take care of Christian, with the help of my husband, who did most of it (two are better than one, the Bible says… can’t be anymore truth to that), and as I sat down to pray this morning, God said this “What you did to that man, you did to Me.”  I wasn’t sure I heard him and then I remembered the man from yesterday and my actions, and God said, “I desired to say something to you.  I wanted you to come closer to Me and in your busyness, you refused Me.  You told me to wait and you rejected My request.”   And there I stood convicted.  All I could do was humble myself and ask for forgiveness.
The God of all creation, my God, my Lord, my Savior wanted to talk to me.  Wanted to take some time and say something to me.  He told me, “You took the time to pray, but you did not take the time to listen.”   Oh Lord.  Forgive me.  He went on, “I would have helped you… I would have made it easier for you with Christian, if you had only taken the time to listen to Me.”

In my busyness and trying to be “mommy” I failed to be a child.  I failed to be God’s child.  To make the adjustment I needed to hear from my Father.  Yes, I prayed.  I made my requests known unto God.  I went on behalf of others and even myself, “Lord, give me strength today… Help me to do what I need to do.”  But I did not take the time to listen.  To hear.  To allow God to give me direction and guidance. 
But God said, I was not alone.  He said that WE (you and I) have our routines and we have our schedules of where He fits in and that’s a good thing, but then when things come in, the extra things, we need to adjust ourselves accordingly so that our fellowship time with the Lord goes unhindered.  And if we take the time to pray, we MUST take the time to listen. 

I didn’t think that I was not listening or not open to hear from God, but He knows my mind was so focused on doing what I needed to do for Christian that I did not allow room for God to lead me how to do it.  If He is our life, if the Word is our life and we live by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, we must always be led by the Spirit of God.  The Word says, “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”  God would have made everything I had to do a little easier to do it had I listened.

Yes, I was convicted.  God painted a clear picture of just how much He loves me and desires to speak to me and how I ignored Him, by using a homeless man, begging for some money and some time. 
God is real.  So real.  Who could imagine a God that loves us like that, that He would beg for your money and your time? 

I’m taking the time to pray STILL and but even more so, I’m taking the time to listen. 

Be blessed.

A (humbled) servant of the Lord,
Sis. E

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