Be Still and Hear


Read: Psalm 46      

People often joke about someone having selective hearing.  Spouses like to claim this about each other, and children get accused of it sometimes as well.  The phrase “selective hearing” means that we choose when to listen and when not to listen to someone else.  In a world filled with distractions we can often be guilty of this.  We are on our smartphones, going from here to there, working all the time, and moving at a pace that even puts the Energizer bunny to shame.  We may be productive, but are we ever still enough to hear what needs to be heard?

Psalm 46 has a well-known verse that is often quoted.  It says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”  This should be a reminder for us that in order to hear what God is saying to us about life we need to take time to hear His voice.  That voice may come through the words of the Bible, through a trusted Christian friend, through a message at church, through a time of individual prayer, or some other way that the Lord chooses to communicate with you.  But just like all other communication we have to take time and choose to listen.

James Hamilton once shared a story from the days before refrigerators, when people used ice houses to preserve their food.  Those ice houses had thick walls, no windows, and a tightly fitted door.  In winter, when streams and lakes were frozen, large blocks of ice were cut, hauled to the ice houses, and covered with sawdust.  Often the ice would last well into the summer.

One day, while working in one of those ice houses a man lost a valuable watch.  He searched diligently for it, carefully raking through the sawdust, but didn’t find it.  His fellow workers also looked, but their efforts, too, proved futile.  One day a small boy who heard about the fruitless search slipped into the ice house during the noon hour.  Soon he emerged with the watch in his hand.  Amazed, the men asked him how he found it.  He said, “I closed the door, laid down in the sawdust, and kept very still.  Soon I heard the watch ticking.”

Most of the time it is not a question of whether God is speaking, but whether we are being still enough, and quiet enough, to hear.  It’s easy these days to find people who are distracted by various things.  Instead, be a person who finds places, spaces, and time to be quiet and still in order to hear what God might be speaking into your life.  Find time this week to be still and hear what God wants you to hear.

Make it Personal:  How often do you worry and fret over various things in life?  How often do you take time to pray, listen, read God’s Word, and seek the Lord’s guidance and counsel on those things?  Try to improve your listening skills with others, but be sure to find time to be still and hear the voice of Jesus in your life.

Have a great week,  Pastor Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church