Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 29, 2020
By Guest Writer: Judy Lewis
Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life. I will make an everlasting covenant with you. I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David. Isaiah 55:3
“The interior life, that is the inward life of the spirit is not a place that is taken by storm or violence. That inward kingdom, that realm within you, is a place of peace, it can only be gained by love.” Madame Guyon
“Many voices ask for our attention. There is a voice that says, ‘Prove that you are a good person.’ Another voice says, ‘You’d better be ashamed of yourself.’ There also is a voice that says, ‘Nobody really cares about you,’ and one that says, ‘Be sure to become successful, popular, and powerful.’ But underneath all these often very noisy voices is a still, small voice that says, ‘You are My Beloved, My favor rests on you.’ That’s the voice we need most of all to hear. To hear that voice, however, requires special effort; it requires solitude, silence, and a strong determination to listen.” Henri Nouwen
My friend Donna introduced me to the children’s book The Rabbit Listened. In it, little Taylor faces a tough time. One by one, different animals come by with suggested ways to cope. Instead of helping, each one left Taylor feeling a little more alone. None of their voices was helpful. Until, of course, the rabbit quietly sidled up next to Taylor, and the child sensed its gentle presence. C.S. Lewis said, “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” This sweet story illustrated a simple reminder of the nature of God’s presence.
“Your love has given me much joy and comfort, my brother, for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God’s people” (Philemon 1:7).
For the last two weeks, Beth and I have been writing about listening, about really hearing. The problem with listening is that we first have to get quiet ourselves. And therein lies the trouble! We’re so full of the zoo of voices, we aren’t available to the Holy Spirit’s gentle presence. To quiet our insides, we need a “listening rabbit” for ourselves first.
If you’re like me and Taylor, you’ve got a riotous raucous of accusations and demands. It’s awful. And so very unhelpful. These extended days of isolation have brought new exhaustion, and somehow the animals get louder as I get more tired. My zoo needs a “come-to-Jesus moment” in the best–and worst–way. Coming to sit with Someone who is patient, kind, and keeps no record of wrongs gently hushes the voices. When Someone simply comes to be with you–without judgment or agenda–the voices quell.
Only love transforms. Not screaming back. Not trying harder. Not shaming.
Give it a try. The next time the riotous animals interrupt your listening for the still small voice calling you beloved, imagine Jesus sitting beside them. Imagine the kindness of God offering His warm presence, like a listening rabbit. Let His gentleness quiet you with His love.
“But even as he spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him” (Matthew 17:5).
Heavenly Father, give me compassionate ears to listen and love a hurting heart, in Jesus’ name, amen.
Who do I know who does not want me to fix her, but who needs to know I care?
Here is a helpful resource during these days of grief, sorrow and uncertainty: A Little Book of Comfort
To listen well to others, I first have to quiet my soul and listen to my Savior’s love for me. #WisdomHunters #listen #truth #Jesus
4 minute video: Tommee Profitt & McKenna Sabin:
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