Are You Listening?

As we look out on a society deeply troubled by civil unrest, as we consider the appearance of and the after-effects of a global pandemic, as we ponder what it will mean as we emerge from our imposed cells of isolation, many are asking: “what does it all mean? Why is all of this happening? Are there cultural elites manipulating us for their own ends? How can a loving and all powerful God allow the catastrophic to occur? Is God speaking to us through all this turmoil?”
   Are you seeking the wisdom of God in these days? Are you reaching out to Him in prayer? The Lord speaks to us in manifold ways through the written Word, through His Holy Spirit, through the natural world, and often through the unbidden and unexpected. 
He calls us to listen and to use words that will edify, words that will build and challenge and comfort and minister to those around us. But it’s not always easy to locate those words when the people in our lives shun us, refuse to listen to us, misunderstand us, dismiss us, and treat us with disrespect. Walls are built—walls of anger and frustration and fear—walls that are hard to penetrate. In the midst of all the confusion, we may even build walls between ourselves and God. We can’t hear or we refuse to listen.
   We all say we want signs. But are we listening? Are we listening for what God is saying at the small crossroads as well as at the big junctures? Are we listening to the spoken and the unspoken words of those we encounter every day? Are we listening to the heart cries of the child, the stranger, the friend, even the one who seems bent on our destruction?

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