Tuesday, March 23rd Isaiah 50:2-3

Why was no one there when I came? Why did no one answer when I called? Is my hand shortened, that it cannot redeem? Or have I no power to deliver? By my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a desert; their fish stink for lack of water, and die of thirst. I clothe the heavens with blackness, and make sackcloth their covering. Isaiah 50:2-3

As we take our “Lenten inventory”, we come across these questions addressed from God to us. “Why was no one there when I came? Why did no one answer when I called?”

These questions are communication questions. They are prayer questions. But they are framed in a very different way than we normally frame prayer questions.

Normally we would ask ourselves, “When do I reach out to God in prayer? Why do I reach out to God in prayer? What do I ask for?” Do you see, in framing these questions, how it seems that the “communication with God” thing seems completely up to us? Our questions put us in the center – what we do or don’t do – and therefore leave very little room for God at all. Prayer becomes all about OUR talking with no room at all for our LISTENING.

This observation strikes pretty close to home with me. I live my life in the communication business. (Isn’t that what a pastor does? Isn’t that what I’m doing with my fingers right now as I type?) But God has placed my wife in my life, and I in hers, as a blessed gift of God’s grace. And more often than not, Kelley helps me see (or at least tries to help me see) that I’m not always the communicator I think I am. Sometimes the block is I don’t talk enough, more often the block is that I don’t listen enough. I’m convinced this is one of the reasons God invented marriage in the first place – so that we could learn on a daily basis what it takes for relationships to work.

God’s question to us through Isaiah isn’t about chiding us for not talking enough with God but for not listening to God as God speaks to us.

How does God speak to us? I suppose that list is longer than this but clearly it would include listening to God’s written Word alone and with others, listening to God’s preached and proclaimed Word in prayer, praise and thanksgiving in public worship, and listening in the quietness of our meditative hearts. God speaks to us when we are attentive in our listening. (See 1 Samuel 3:10)

Have we been attentive to God’s attempts to reach us? Has God been getting a busy signal on our end of the conversation? Is our spiritual cell phone turned off, our land line disconnected?

Rest assured. God never tires of reaching out to us. He has promised that he will never leave or abandon us. God doesn’t give up on God’s end of the relationship. But how are we doing on our end?

Let us pray: Dear Lord, here we sit. Right now, mindfully in your presence. Quiet the rushing thoughts that pass through us. Cut through the noise of our lives so that we might be still in your presence. Speak to us and we will listen. Guide us and we will know the Way. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

4 Responses to “Tuesday, March 23rd Isaiah 50:2-3”

  1. Shannon Schneider Says:

    You have been planting seeds in my garden for many months now and I thank you for the inspiring messages that you bring to me as a child of God. Today’s thoughts of listening spoke to me and I felt encouraged (in my silent time) to let you know how I needed to remember the importance of waiting and LISTENING for God’s guidance and direction in my life.
    May you continue to be God;s servant and share the Good News with all of us who look forward to your e-mails daily. God bless you
    Your friend in Christ,
    Shannon Schneider
    Noblesville, IN

  2. Mary Harper Says:

    In a newspaper I picked up at Taj India restaurant, I found this ” Prayer is asking from God, Meditation is listening to God” You hit hat on the nail!

    • Alexandro Says:

      AMEN to that Kurt! Through good times and bad he is with us always. He is a fahtiful Father even when we are not fahtiful to him. He lets us stumble and then is there to pick us up. His spirit guides us, not always in the way we want to go, but in the way he wants us to go. Keep your eyes open and look for God’s grace, it’s not always where and how we think.

  3. Aris Says:

    – I cant agree with you more about Ben and Hetty’s kids they are so cute! It’s good to see how friendship grow stgorner as we grow into another chapters in our lives. I still remember you and Ben from college days of visiting UCI KCM ;p Btw, I cant wait to see the 3rd addition to the Han family soon! Wishing Staci a healthy, safe and quick labor!

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