31 The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks about earthly things. The one who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He testifies to what he has seen and heard, yet no one accepts his testimony. 33 Whoever has accepted his testimony has certified[a] this, that God is true. 34 He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. 35 The Father loves the Son and has placed all things in his hands. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but must endure God’s wrath.
“God is still speaking…are you listening?”
I saw this posted on the church sign as I was driving to work one afternoon…during a time when I felt as if God was being particularly quiet; because of this, when I first saw the sign, my response was more cynical than enlightened.
I did not think the sign again for a while…I drove past it all during that week, but after the message had changed I all but forgot about it…until recently, when once again I was wondering if God had anything to say to me. Life has thrown me a few curves recently from trouble at home, to a bad fall on the ice, and accompanying financial troubles, and I felt as if my prayers were going unanswered; however, then I thought of the second part of that sign: “…are you listening?”
Sometimes, in the midst of our busy lives as single parents, between holding down a job and a household, and all the worries and stress that goes along with our responsibilities we can get too caught up in our own lives to simply stop and listen for God’s voice in our lives.
There are also times, when I find myself trying too hard to hear God’s voice, and actually miss it because I cannot simply relax and just listen…because God is still speaking, and has never stopped talking to us!
God speaks to us both through the scriptures, and also through each other…
As followers of Christ we are called to continue in his ministry of proclaiming God’s love to the world.
The voice of God can not only come through the Gospels, but also through those with whom we share our faith…those we trust and who can give us advice, support and friendship to see us through the hard times in our lives. These people can be the voice of reason and calm during a hectic day of parenting that can threaten to spin us out of control. They can show us the compassion that will support us through a dark and confusing time, when tensions within our families overwhelm us with worry and fear…and hope seems lost. Those closest to us can share God’s words of love and comfort with us when we are teetering on the verge of despair, or give us strength to go on when we are just plain exhausted.
And these are the people with whom we can rejoice when the troubles pass, and the light of Christ shines through the darkness, like the Sun breaking through the rain clouds after a storm.
The voice of God can also come through strangers, those who offer a kind word, hold a door for us when struggling with kids and groceries, or just a smile during the midst of a tough day.
God’s voice can speak to us through the sound of the wind blowing through the bare trees on a bright and cold winter’s day, or in the sound of a jumping fish in the middle of a lake in the summer.
God can speak to us through our children: when we are playing together, exploring nature or a new city, telling a new story…and even when they are older, and our teen gives us an unexpected hug, or makes the choice to call home after realizing that they are in the wrong place, and with the wrong people.
God also speaks through as, as we share our experience, strength, hope and faith with others, showing them compassion and support as we help them through the many challenges of life as a single parent (or just life in general), just as others have helped us.
God speaks in a multitude of ways…to hear this voice, we just have to keep open, pay attention, and learn how to truly listen for that voice, right in the midst of our lives; and to do that we sometimes just need to stop, step away from our own troubles and concerns and simply be quiet and then not try so hard to hear that we “miss the forest for the trees” instead of just listening.
God IS still speaking to us…and never stopped…the question is: are we listening?
Let us Pray
God, thank you that you have never stopped reaching out to us with your Word of love and hope. Thank you for giving us your Word made flesh in Christ, and that this Word lives on in our world today. Help us to hear you speaking to us in the midst of our lives, through those closest to us, through nature, strangers, and through our children. Let us also be your voice to all those in need, from our family and friends, to strangers…as we seek to make your Word of hope known in our world.