Listening for the Whisper

Weston Bend

Weston Bend

We were out at a park when my son snapped to attention, dropping the stick he had been using to follow and pester a trail of ants. He jumped up, looking me in the face with wide-eyed thrill.

“Train! Train, mama!” he says.

And I listen in, and hear it in the distance. We’re miles away from the nearest tracks. The volume is faint but the sound is distinct – he’s right! There’s definitely a train running through somewhere within earshot, but I am a bit stunned. I’m marveling that my one-year-old boy (whose attention is sometimes so hard to focus!) has recognized the tune – “Chug-chug, puff-puff, ding-dong, ding-dong!” he says with a grin in my direction. And just like that he’s back at work muddying his fingernails and following insects.

I would never have noticed the sound of a train in the distance. It’s not because I’m hard of hearing or anything like that – I’m sure I “hear” it, but the sound is just background noise to me. But my son – lover of trains that he is – is attuned to the sound of that train, however far away it is. It’s one of his favorite sounds in the world! He hears it and perks up every time. I mean every.single.time. I had no idea there were so many trains in our area!

As I sat there in the fading sunlight of a cool September evening, I was filled with joy at my son’s intensity and focus on his interests, and still a little awed by his little senses being so tuned to notice the things he cares about. I began to pray that God would lead him to one day be so aware of the Holy Spirit – that he would hear the whisper in the distance and respond to it. The Lord brought to mind the story of the boy Samuel. He was only a child, he “did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him,” but he heard the voice of the Lord and responded. Eli perceived that God was speaking to Samuel, and instructed him in how to respond. When God spoke to him again, Samuel responded: “Speak LORD, for your servant hears.” He opened his ears to hear the word of the Lord, and responded appropriately.

Do we hear God’s voice? Are we listening for Him? Do we respond when we hear Him? Are we delighted to hear God’s voice and to drop anything else, like my son when he hears his favorite sound? Or have we learned to “tune-out” the convictions of the Spirit, the way my physical ears have learned to “tune-out” the “unimportant” sounds of a train?

I pray that, in a day in age when a word from the Lord is rare and there is no frequent vision, that we may be listening attentively for the voice of our King!

And, dear son of mine, keep your ears open…may you hear and respond to the Lord, delighting in His voice…

❤ jc

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” {John 10:27}

“And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper…” {1 Kings 19:11-12}

“…but blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear…” {Matthew 13:16}


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