Do I listen carefully for God’s voice in good times?
Listening comes naturally to me in challenging times. When I face vocational decisions, illness, family quandaries, or congregational quarrels, I actively listen for a word from God. When I feel the need for God’s guidance, I seek it.
Good times, on the other hand, can dull my spiritual hearing. When I’m fulfilled by work, enjoy good health, and see those I love thriving, I sometimes forget to listen for God.
To counter this tendency, I’ve assembled a few stories I review from time to time, stories of those who listen carefully for God’s voice even when life is going well. First in this collection is today’s passage: Abraham no doubt thinks his long journey with God has ended well. Each time he looks at his son Isaac, he sees God’s promise fulfilled. He has only to watch over him until Isaac grows into an adult, marries and produces grandchildren, and all God promised will be fulfilled. Surely his journey with God has reached a good stopping place. He need not worry that God might speak again, upset all his certainties, and send him on yet another trip. Why concern himself with listening for God’s voice in the midst of such a good time?
Abraham, though, chooses to keep listening. Because he does, he hears God speak to him. What he hears unmakes his world for a time, only to remake it into something that ultimately blesses us all.
Abraham’s story helps me remember the potential inherent in listening for God’s voice in the actual circumstances of each day, including the good times. Might it do the same for you?
Try starting each day by speaking aloud a core commitment: “I will listen for God’s voice today.”
Lord, help me focus on listening for your voice today in the midst of all the messiness of life. Amen.