Way to listen (a repost)

(This repost is from November 5, 2010. It’s by Paul Merrill who writes here every First Friday and was suggested by Joel.)

“My heart has heard you say, ‘Come and talk with me.’ And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.’ ” (Psalm 20:7)

That’s a great way to start a day. Or end a day.

David, the guy who wrote those words, preceded those thoughts by saying, “Hear me as I pray, O Lord. Be merciful and answer me!” So God did respond by asking David to sit down and talk. Then in the talking with God, David would get his answers.

How often are we willing to sit down and talk with God? Talk. Listen. (Not just talk.)

A great time to do that might be on your drive (or train ride) to work. Or on the plane to that next conference, when you just don’t feel like talking to the person next to you. God will listen, without complaining. He usually doesn’t talk till you are ready to listen to Him. That’s not always true. Sometimes He shouts at us when we won’t listen any other way. Often He will talk through events in our lives. The “wake up!” variety.

Sometimes we are in a place where God seems silent. It’s helpful to zip down to the end of that Psalm to see how David responded to that situation: “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”

Being patient can be really hard. Maybe it’s one of the hardest things we will face. But David urges us to be brave in the face of the unknown. Maybe you’re waiting on a job. Waiting on your daughter to choose her life direction, on trying for a baby or finding a life partner. Or waiting to see how you can make ends meet this month. Be brave. Wait. And talk to God. And listen.