Eve M. Harrell
Listen - A Word for 2018
It was a beautiful morning in Uluru, Australia. A group of us congregated on the plain to watch the palette in God's Hand light up the morning sky.
It was a moment I will never forget.
Cluttering the atmosphere with my voice seemed a waste of space. So the posture of my heart leaned in to LISTEN. Listen to the birds in song, listen to the lizards make their way among the rock. Listen for the gentle whisper of my Father.
I wish I could say that this was the norm for me, to listen that is. My forte is conversation, not listening. And if I can be completely transparent, chaos quite often drowns out His gentle whisper.
The art of LISTEN has been a struggle for me since I was a little girl. My mom recounts how teachers used to call her in desperation asking how they could get me to be quiet in class.
I have always had something to say. I have always had a yearning to be heard.
But what if in the quiet, there is something greater? What if God has so much more for us in the quiet?
Last year, my word of the year was peace. And through this word God has given me a brand new perspective on being heard. Sitting in the peace of His Presence, I recognize that the God of the universe is always listening to my heart. But, for me to know this, I too must LISTEN.
In 2018, He has called me to the mountain and is challenging me to listen for Him. Just as in the story of Elijah and the mountain, He is calling me to rise above the chaos and seek Him.
What does this mean?
Frances Fenelon says, “Be silent, and listen to God. Let your heart be in such a state of preparation that His Spirit may impress upon you such virtues as will please Him. This silence of all outward and earthly affection and of human thoughts with us, is essential if we are to hear His voice.”
Did you catch it? This silence is ESSENTIAL if we are to hear His voice.
God is always speaking, but if we want to hear His voice; it becomes important to increase our listening.
I realize there are several steps of preparation I need to pursue if I am to boldly listen to what God has for me.
First, there are three things that I need to surrender.
I need to surrender my need to be heard.
I need to surrender my need to interject.
I need to surrender my racing thoughts that want to provide the solution to everyone’s problem.
Second, there are three things that I need to do.
I have to be intentional daily about being still.
I have to seek Him first in all things.
I have to be willing to stop and listen to the heart of those who are speaking. This means quieting my mind from preparing my next response.
Today I surrender these things to my Father. And I am asking the Holy Spirit to grant me the strength and desire to intentionally seek my Father’s voice.
I pray that whatever is going on in your life; that you too will listen for the gentle whisper of our Father.
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 1 Kings 19:11-12
Father, thank You for bringing me to a sacred place where I was forced to listen to the quiet. Lord, I pray that in the coming year, you will open our hearts and help us to hear your whisper above the chaos of our lives. Help us to Be Still and know that You are God.
In Jesus' Name