Listen and Understand
Recently Beverly and I had the opportunity to have our grandkids over for almost a week! We jumped at the chance. (You never know if the parents might change their minds.) We cleaned the house, bought loads of cookies, candy, popcorn…I mean, fruit and vegetables. 1
By the time Henry and Violet arrived, we were ready. Beverly had dusted off the board games and I had a nice list of movies to watch…all age appropriate as they are 9 and “almost 7”, respectively. Beverly also already had her plans laid out for lots of arts and crafts they love to do.
But in all the planning we had forgotten something important. Henry and Violet have way more energy than Gigi and Seanair (Beverly and Chuck for the uninitiated). And it didn’t take long for us to be exhausted, especially with staying up late every night. 2
Often in our eagerness to speak we do not listen.
One evening after a full day of making memories, Beverly and I were quite tired. The last movie had ended. The begging to stay up past bed time and eat more…fruit and vegetables…ceased. 3 It was glorious bedtime. I was asleep before my head hit the pillow.
Hours later I awoke to a gentle knock on my bedroom door. “Seanair?” “Yes?” I replied, quite groggy. Miss Violet entered the room. “I want to sleep with Gigi,” she said softly. “Were you scared upstairs? Yeah, I used to get scared at night, too.” Violet shook her head.
I told her how I overcame my fears when I was growing up. But she never said a word. I reached for my glasses so I could see her better. That’s when I realized Violet was fast asleep, snuggled next to her Gigi, and that for the last 5 minutes I had been talking to the bedpost.
When Jesus speaks to us, will we understand?
Turns out Violet meant exactly what she said. I thought she was scared but she just wanted to be with Beverly. I wanted to help her but did not pay attention and listen carefully. So I completely misunderstood what she was trying to tell me.
Have you ever missed out on something Jesus was telling you? In His earthly ministry He often cautioned those with Him, Listen to me…Listen and understand…Don’t be like others who, though hearing, do not understand…Consider carefully how you listen. 4
Those warnings are for us, too. So when Jesus speaks to you, pay attention and listen carefully so that you will understand what He wants you to know. You see, He, too, stands at the door and knocks…because He wants to be with you. 5
Chuck Graham is Founder and Executive Director of Ciloa, an international ministry devoted to encouraging others and teaching them how to encourage one another. He is also an author and speaker. Chuck and his wife, Beverly, live in Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA. Learn more about Chuck and Ciloa at www.Ciloa.org.
Footnotes: (1) I don’t know how often our kids actually read the Notes, but you can’t be too careful. (2) Not the kids, of course. They were sound asleep in bed on time every night. Sure they were. (3) “Mom and Dad let us do it all the time” is still ringing in my ears. (4) From Mark 7:14; Matthew 15:10; Luke 8:10,18. (5) From Revelation 3:20.
Pictures: Banner: Henry and Violet, family photo. 1st: Gigi, Henry and Violet, family photo. 2nd: Seanair, Henry and Violet, family photo. 3rd: Mark 7:14, scripture-images.com.