He told them, “You’ve been given insight into God’s kingdom—you know how it works. But to those who can’t see it yet, everything comes in stories, creating readiness, nudging them toward receptive insight. These are people—
Whose eyes are open but don’t see a thing,
Whose ears are open but don’t understand a word,
Who avoid making an about-face and getting forgiven.”
Mark 4:10-12 MSG
I would be the first person to confess to you that before my stroke, I had eyes to see, but I didn’t see a thing. I had ears to hear, but I didn’t understand the words. Part of the grace that I now have from God is that He opened my eyes and my ears through my stroke experience.
I never quite understood the idea of simply being still and waiting in God’s presence. My work in the world meant that I had to be on top of each thing I was trying to do and I had to go out there and get it done. It was up to me and I had a single focus. I was building my own legacy.
I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who has had that experience. We have trouble just being still. We have trouble quieting our minds enough to listen to God’s voice and to allow our mind’s eye to see what He wants us to understand. It’s hard for Him to get through to us when we’re out trying to conquer the world.
Sometimes He has to stop us in our tracks. He doesn’t cause us to have a stroke, I’m not saying that. I’m just saying that He’ll use an opportunity any time it comes along to get our attention, to get us to be quiet and listen. I had been running from seven AM to seven PM for nearly 30 years, and I didn’t know that my feet were slipping. I didn’t know that I was too busy to hear what God had to say.
The blessing of the months of recovery was that I had no choice. I was finally sitting down, ready to hear what God had to say, and more than that; I was ready to listen. I knew it was time for me to open my eyes and my ears.
I’ve been working on those listening skills ever since and God is doing amazing things in my life. He doesn’t do those things because I’m special. He does them because He is special. He does them because He loves me simply because He is God. He loves you too for exactly the same reason.
It’s a good day to open your ears to His call, and open your eyes to all that He wants you to see. Try the 80/20 rule with God: Listen to Him 80% of the time, and talk with Him 20% of the time. It will serve you well. Be quiet. Be still. You’ll hear His voice loud and clear.