[Lis'ten] To make an effort to hear something. To pay attention. To give attention with the ear. To attend closely for the purpose of hearing. To wait attentively for a sound. When waiting for a call, are you listening?
Are You Listening?
Back when the telegraph was the fastest method of long-distance communication, a young man applied for a job as a Morse Code operator. Answering an ad in the newspaper, he went to the office address that was listed.
When he arrived, he entered a large, busy office filled with noise and clatter, including the sound of the telegraph in the background.
A sign on the receptionist's counter instructed job applicants to fill out a form and wait until they were summoned to enter the inner office.
The young man filled out his form and sat down with the seven other applicants in the waiting area.
After a few minutes, the young man stood up, crossed the room to the door of the inner office, and walked right in.
Naturally the other applicants perked up, wondering what was going on. They muttered among themselves that they hadn't heard any summons yet.
They assumed that the young man who went into the office made a mistake and would be disqualified.
Within a few minutes, however, the employer escorted the young man out of the office and said to the other applicants:
"Gentlemen, thank you very much for coming, but the job has just been filled."
The other applicants began grumbling to each other, and one spoke up saying:
"Wait a minute, I don't understand. He was the last to come in, and we never even got a chance to be interviewed. Yet he got the job. That's not fair!"
The employer said:
"I'm sorry, but the last several minutes while you've been sitting here, the telegraph has been ticking out the following message in Morse Code: 'If you understand this message, then come right in. The job is yours.'"
"None of you heard it or understood it. This young man did. The job is his."
We are so busy living in a world that is full of noise and clatter, like that office. People are distracted and unable to hear the still, small voice of God as He speaks in creation, in the Scriptures, and in the life and work of Jesus Christ.
So I ask you, as I ask myself:
"Are you listening, or are you waiting for the call? Do you hear the Lord when he speaks to you?"
~ Author Unknown
One Day I Woke Up
One day, I woke early in the morning to watch the sunrise.
Ah the beauty of God's creation is beyond description.
As I watched, I praised God for His beautiful work.
As I sat there, I felt the Lord's presence with me.
He asked me, "Do you love me?"
I answered, "Of course, God! You are my Lord and Savior!"
Then He asked, "If you were physically handicapped, would you still love me?"
I was perplexed. I looked down upon my arms, legs and the rest of my body and wondered how many things I wouldn't be able to do, the things that I took for granted. And I answered, "It would be tough Lord, but I would still love You."
Then the Lord said, "If you were blind, would you still love my creation?"
How could I love something without being able to see it? Then I thought of all the blind people in the world and how many of them still loved God and His creation. So I answered, "Its hard to think of it, but I would still love you."
The Lord then asked me, "If you were deaf, would you still listen to my word?"
How could I listen to anything being deaf? Then I understood. Listening to God's Word is not merely using our ears, but our hearts. I answered, "It would be tough, but I would still listen to Your word."
The Lord then asked, "If you were mute, would you still praise My Name?"
How could I praise without a voice? Then it occurred to me: God wants us to sing from our very heart and soul. It never matters what we sound like. And praising God is not always with a song, but when we are persecuted, we give God praise with our words of thanks. So I answered, "Though I could not physically sing, I would still praise Your Name.
And the Lord asked, "Do you really love Me?"
With courage and a strong conviction, I answered boldly, "Yes Lord! I love You because You are the one and true God!"
I thought I had answered well, but...
God asked next, "Then why do you sin?"
I answered, "Because I am only human. I am not perfect."
"Then why in times of peace do you stray the furthest from me? Why do you only pray fervently in times of trouble?
No answers. Only tears.
The Lord continued: "Why only sing at fellowships and retreats? Why seek Me only in times of worship? Why ask things so selfishly? Why ask things so unfaithfully?"
The tears continued to roll down my cheeks.
"Why are you ashamed of Me? Why are you not spreading the good news? Why in times of persecution, you cry to others when I offer My shoulder to cry on? Why make excuses when I give you opportunities to serve in My Name?"
I tried to answer, but there was no answer to give.
"You are blessed with life. I made you not to throw this gift away. I have blessed you with talents to serve Me, but you continue to turn away. I have revealed My Word to you, but you do not gain in knowledge. I have spoken to you but your ears were closed. I have shown My blessings to you, but your eyes were turned away. I have sent you servants, but you sat idly by as they were pushed away. I have heard your prayers and I have answered them all."
"Do you truly love me?"
I could not answer. How could I? I was embarrassed beyond belief. I had no excuse. What could I say to this? When I my heart had cried out and the tears had flowed, I said, " Please forgive me Lord. I am unworthy to be Your child."
The Lord answered, "That is My Grace, My child."
I asked, "Then why do you continue to forgive me? Why do You love me so?"
The Lord answered, "Because you are My creation. You are my child. I will never abandon you."
"When you cry, I will have compassion and cry with you.
When you shout with joy, I will laugh with you.
When you are down, I will encourage you.
When you fall, I will raise you up.
When you are tired, I will carry you.
I will be with you till the end of days, and I will love you forever."
Never had I cried so hard before. How could I have been so cold? How could I have hurt God as I had done? I asked God, "How much do You love me?"
The Lord stretched out His arms, and I saw His nail-pierced
hands. I bowed down at the feet of Christ, my Savior. And
for the first time, I truly prayed.