Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Best Listener

"Therefore I will look unto the Lord, I will wait for the God of my salvation:
my God will hear me."
Micah 7:7
(KJV)

Have you ever needed to say something to someone very badly
and each time you try, they won't really listen?
They either won't let you get a word in
or they don't seem to concentrate on what you are trying to say.
It is as if they are eager to rush away from the conversation...
to bigger and better things....
and you are left feeling unheard...
and unimportant.

Let's face it, 
for whatever reason....
some people are just not good listeners.
They would rather do all the talking,
then conclude the conversation,
without you being able to express what is in your heart.

It is quite frustrating, to say the least.

I have found Jesus to be the very best of listeners.
Think of it.
He hears us every single time we pray.
Have you ever knelt and approached Him,
only to feel that He really doesn't have time 
for you?
That there are others calling on Him who really need Him more than you do?
That He really needs to address their concerns before yours,
because they are dearer to His heart...
or more important to Him...
or more spiritual...
 than you?

Can you honestly say that you have ever found Him too busy for your pressing needs?

It hit me the other day that I have been serving the Lord 
for over 35 years.
I knelt at an altar at the tender age of ten years old,
and I gave my heart to Jesus.
He came in and washed away my sins,
and He placed my feet on the right path.
I have endeavored to follow Him ever since.

In my 35 years as a Christian,
I have prayed countless prayers.
I don't suppose there is any way of calculating the number
of times I have called out to Him...
for help....
for guidance....
for comfort....
for a listening ear.

It amazes me to know that He has heard me...
every, single time.
He has never turned me away.
He has never made me feel less than the most important person in the world.
I've never been met with closed arms...
or been pushed aside....
or ignored.

My reception at the Throne of Grace has always been the same.
Total acceptance....
love....
mercy....
patience...
compassion....
forgiveness....
open, loving, caring, tender, gentle arms.....
open ears.

"For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers..."
I Peter 3:12 

During Mom's prolonged last hospital stay,
we continually had to deal with a doctor who would not listen.
She loved to talk.
She loved to impress....
 and express....
 her extensive medical knowledge 
during her rushed and hurried talks with us.
But, each time one of us tried to talk,
each time we tried to voice a concern, 
ask a question, 
or needed further clarification,
we were abruptly cut off and made to feel that she already knew what we were going to say...
before we said it.
We had many unanswered questions,
and our communication with her was of very poor quality.

I am so thankful God is not this way, aren't you?

He already knows what we are going to say,
each and every time we come to Him...
but He listens anyway.
He waits,
and He continues to listen,
no matter how long it takes us to empty our hearts,
no matter how often we say the same, repetitive phrases,
no matter how many times He's heard the same request,
no matter what time of the day or night it is.

He listens.
He cares enough to give us His complete, undivided attention,
every single time we pray.

Women are emotional creatures...
much more so than men.
Research has proven that the main thing a woman needs from her spouse...
is for him to listen to her.
To stop what he is doing.
To turn off the noise.
To lay down the cell phone.
To look into her eyes.
To let her finish.
To care about what is most important to her.

Listening is a huge component of intimacy....
both in a marriage...
and in our relationship with God.

Nothing escapes our Heavenly Father's wisdom.
He recognizes our needs.
He made us to be the emotional creatures we are...
remember?
Who could know us or identify with our needs more than Him?
He is our Creator.

He never rushes us.
God is never in a hurry....
to end our cries to Him...
to walk away...
to move on to someone more important...
to a more pressing need.

I love studying the four Gospels.
I cannot think of anything more interesting to read 
than the first four books of the New Testament.
It absolutely never grows old to me.
Never.
Each time I read it, I find something new...
in the most familiar of passages.
I don't know how many times I've read the precious words contained there,
but they never lose the slightest measure of their power to inspire me,
encourage me, and motivate me...
to continue my quest to learn more.

I love delving into the four accounts of Jesus' life and ministry.
I am completely enthralled as I read...
of how He treated people...
how He reacted to the many who thronged Him....
how He felt about things.

How blessed we are to own His story!
How incredibly kind of God to allow the Holy Bible to fall into each one 
of our homes and hands!

By the way, how often do we pick it up?
Read it?
Give it more than a passing swoosh with the feather duster?

One of the millions of things I love so much about Jesus,
is that He was kind.
Don't you know He got tired?
Can't you just imagine how emotionally draining it was...
for Him to continually...
day after day after dreary, mundane day....
have people constantly pulling at Him?
Wanting something from Him...
many only following Him because they wanted a free meal.
He must have felt weary beyond words...
there must have been moments that He felt He needed to turn...
and run...
away from the whole sick, ailing, miserable, needy crowd...
and get away from it all.

There are times that He tried....
only to arrive someplace else to find that they were there already...
waiting for Him.

Seldom, did He find a moment's peace...
and solitude.
He made time by getting up early...
or going someplace remote and spending the whole night....
in prayer....
in communion with His Father.

I can't blame the people.
I would have done the same.
My overwhelming desire to be near Him,
to hear Him,
to hope that He would hear me....
that He would listen to me...
that He would take compassion on my case....
would have driven me to do anything within my power 
just to be in His presence.  
I don't think there is anything I wouldn't have tried...
just to gain an audience with Him.
Can you picture yourself standing in the presence of Almighty God...
in the flesh...
in front of you?
Can you imagine the unspeakable joy 
of Him looking into your face,
listening to you talk,
really listening...
taking it in....
giving your feelings the validation for which you so desperately yearn?

Feelings matter.
We really can't control how we feel.
If we feel a certain way,
there is a valid reason.

Jesus understands that.
He felt...
remember?
He was here.
He was one of us.
He experienced every emotion....
the full gamut...
of everything you and I go through in this life.

He is our intercessor.
The Man in the middle.
Just as He was hanging on the middle cross...
between the two thieves...
on Mt. Calvary...
so, He is now in the middle....
between us and God.

Aren't you glad it is Him?
Who stands in the breach...
Who spans the gap....
Who built the bridge....
between you and God?

I sure am.
There is no one I would rather have on my side...
no one I would rather bend a listening ear to my needs....
than Jesus Christ Himself.
Who would or could ever be more compassionate,
more empathetic,
more full of love....
than Him?

When He was here on the earth,
He gave full attention to every person 
who came into His presence.
He never rushed them or pushed them away.
Even the children.
Remember how disturbed He became when the children tried to come to Him,
only to be pushed aside by His disciples?
Jesus made it crystal clear that children are of utmost importance.
He listened to them.
He took them up in His arms.
He held them close.

He cared.

Have you ever taken the time to count all of the miracles He did....
in the process of being interrupted?
When He was on His way to do something else?
He was constantly being derailed from His intentions.
He was continually met with someone who desperately needed Him....
while He was on His way to help someone else.
He never looked at them and said,
"Sorry, I don't have time."
Or
"You'll have to wait.  I'm on my way to an important official's house."
Or
"I'll get to you later.  This person's condition is more serious than yours."

Why?
Because time does not matter...
in the least....
to our dear Lord.

So what if the person He was originally going to help
worsened while He was helping someone else?
Nothing was impossible for Him to fix.
No matter how serious,
no matter how urgent,
no matter how advanced the situation...
He had and still has all power.

Each person standing in front of Him...
was the most important, most pressing need.
He dealt with each one...
on an individual basis...
no matter what or who they were taking His attention away from.

They mattered to Him...
every, single one of them.

This is the One Who listens to you and I...
when we pray.
This is the One Who faithfully...
24/7...
365 days a year...
remains at the right hand of the throne of God....
just waiting...
listening....
for your voice.


This is the Advocate we have with Father God.

"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.
And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous..."
I John 2:1

"Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him,
seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." (Emphasis mine.)
Hebrews 7:25

I'm glad it says "to the uttermost", aren't you?
Doesn't that encompass us all?
Even the ones of us who have drifted the farthest from Him?
Even the ones who have resisted Him the most?
Even the ones who have prayed to Him the least?
Even the ones who have most often broken His heart?

When you pray, 
Heaven stands at attention.
Jesus listens....
He hears...
He communicates your petitions to His Father.
He is your personal Advocate.
He pleads with His Father...
to grant your requests.

Can you imagine how many prayers He hears...
during the course of any given day?

Yet, He knows exactly...
what each one of us has to say.

He hears with His heart.

Do you need to talk?
Are you frustrated that no one is really listening?
Has life convinced you that no one really cares?
Is your heart heavy?
Do your problems seem too much?

Jesus is there....
close to you.
He loves you.
His ears are open, my friend.
You haven't gone too far...
away from Him.

Why not tell Him all about it?

He is the best Listener of all.



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