I couldn’t hear God. I had gone to him, rushed and under pressure–sending out SOS prayer.
“God, I can’t hear you. What should I do?”
If I was lucky, I’d get the prayer out in one coherent sentence. Hardly waiting for the response. More often than not, it was a started prayer, interrupted by whatever demands straining for my attention.
“God, I have to give a reply soon. What should I say?”
I had a deadline approaching and an answer to give. I didn’t know what to choose, and my mind was overrun with my own thoughts of possibilities. I felt a little panicked. A little uncertain. A lot of desperate to hear from God. So I started setting up terms.
“Ok, God, how about this: if it’s yes, then how about I hear it loud and clear. Like from a separate source. Or if it’s no, you could do some highly unexpected miracle like (this).”
Still no response. I ended up moving forward in uncertainty. In fact, after my response, I felt a sickening second-guessing.
God, I didn’t hear from you. So I just moved forward because you didn’t tell me not to.
But as I think on it now, after reading about how Jesus spent time in prayer, I see that I was trying to get God to fit into my busy schedule.
35 Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. 36 Later Simon and the others went out to find him. 37 When they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.”
38 But Jesus replied, “We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. That is why I came.” 39 So he traveled throughout the region of Galilee, preaching in the synagogues and casting out demons. Mark 1:35-39 NLT.
Everyone was looking for Jesus. He had things to do. But instead of grabbing prayer like a mid-meal snack, he sat down before his Father to be in relationship with him. No quick, abbreviated text-talk. He made his time in prayer a priority before his lengthy list of to do.
Lord, I didn’t hear your voice. And maybe it’s because I was too rushed with my day-to-day to stop and listen for it. Maybe it was because I was so busy listening to myself and my list of worries and what-ifs. Lesson learned. I think I might have heard you if I had taken the time to listen, instead of trying to have you fit yourself into my days and thoughts. I see now you wanted more for me–that time together, so I would be able to move on with peace and confidence–in you.