I’d love to say that 2018 came in on a pleasant note. Well, it did, actually, since we were happily invited again to share in good friends’ New Year’s Day Fondue tradition. A table full of good food, surrounded by good people. Yes, that was, indeed, a most pleasant start to the year.
But the next day! From then until today both Husband and I have fought with sleep-depriving head colds which downgraded, or upgraded as you might see it, into sinus infections. I’m pretty sure that’s not medically accurate, but however it happened, here it is. For me, the roller coaster ride (Up: Feeling better today! Down: Where did that energy go?) has continued, until it has now resulted in ear-blockage and hearing loss — temporary, I am sure. But annoying; so annoying. And debilitating, more than I would have thought.
So, it got me thinking about hearing. What a wonderful, beautiful, advantage it is to be able to hear clearly. I know those with hearing loss develop other skills to compensate, but I doubt anyone would disagree that hearing loss is just that. A loss.
We were designed to be able to hear.
Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear” (Matt 11:15)
He obviously wasn’t talking about physical hearing here, but spiritual hearing. We have spiritual ears! That can hear!
Hear what, Jesus? The scriptures mention a few things in that regard, but all related. His voice (John 10:27), what the Spirit says to the churches (Revelation 2:29), the Word (Matthew 13:20).
Apparently, it is possible to have ears that don’t hear these things.
In Jesus’ earth walk, he used his spiritual ears a lot. Perhaps every day. It is written that before the Cross Jesus said to his Father, “I have given them the words which you gave me” (John 17:8).
Imagine being able to hear like that! Jesus said we could, that his sheep do hear him, and don’t follow another voice. But I suspect most of us aren’t always sure we are hearing, at least not in our regular, day to day, get the work done lives. We heard his call, “Come to Me,” at the very beginning of our walk. And we acted on it. But now? In the nitty gritty of life’s choices? How often do we have to ask a friend what we should do? Or doubt what we feel we should do, or what we think we hear.
“Is that you, Jesus, or me?” If we think of him at all.
Seeking the wise counsel of respected others is a good idea. In fact, pretty much always if we are in doubt. But we are supposed to be able to hear the wise counsel of God when we ask for it. (James 1:5)
If I am supposed to have something of value, I want it. A job, a raise. You do, too, right? Maybe not enough to fight for it, but we want it. But what if we need it, and we know we need it? Well, that moves the wanting to a different level.
I could keep you here with quite a few stories — some of them very weird — of when I have heard and acted on some seemingly strange directions. And it was the best direction for the moment. I can also tell you stories about when I heard and talked myself out of acting. You might not believe them. And they are for another day.
But, looking back, as I do every New Year, and looking forward, as is inevitable, here’s what I know: Right now, at my somewhat (and thankfully!) advanced age, I still need to hear, maybe more than ever. And I need to trust Jesus enough to expect that I will.
Our expectation is a big part of our developing a hearing lifestyle. While expectation can be lost, it can also be restored.
It’s worth investigating, friends.