Listen… Wait for it… 13


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Welcome to my first blog. It’s about listening. I hope that with each blog I write, and each comment you share, we will encourage each other to listen well to our Shepherd.

 

A day of silence

How do you listen when there’s only silence? Fog-shrouded, vacuum-still, stone-dead silence?

I spent one whole day listening to my Shepherd recently. I needed to hear His heart for me in this new year. I knew He wanted to hear my heart right back to Him.

A whole day is a long time to listen. I sat in a coffee shop, sun streaming in bright through frosty windows. I parked at the train depot overlooking the city, hoping for perspective. I strolled downtown, earphones stuffed down deep, worshiping. I journaled in a crowded lunch room, gleams from stained glass free-dancing alongside my pen. I hiked in the foothills, speaking my prayers right out loud.

 

Day’s End

At day’s end, a thick fog settled in, hushing the world into solemn quiet. I found a secluded park and picked up my pen again. I didn’t really want to hear my own thoughts, but since I wasn’t hearing His, I began to write: “Thank You, Good Shepherd, that on the icy trails this afternoon You did not let my foot slip.” A few sentences later: “Please show Yourself so surprisingly and delightfully this year that I will dance and applaud and laugh and exclaim, ‘Only my God could have done this!’ Dare I pray such a thing?”

A couple of paragraphs later:  “Lord, I keep saying this phrase over and over in my head: When my anxious thoughts multiply within me. But what comes next?”

With that, I picked up my Bible and found what came next. It not only answered my question of the moment; it answered what I’d been asking Him intently all that day, not to mention the weeks before that. To my question, “What do I need to hear from You in this coming year?” He gave me this:

 

Finally, a word

“If I should say, ‘My foot has slipped,’ Your lovingkindness O Lord will hold me up. When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul” (Psalm 94:18-19).

Did you catch it? I had journaled words He knew I’d write (and, though I don’t quite get the mystery, I had journaled the words He’d told me to write). Then He had answered back with the same words. SlippedDelight.

After days and weeks of listening, my Shepherd had quietly and unmistakably reassured me that, in His lovingkindness, He will console and delight my soul. He had whispered that, for 2014, I was to make space in my days and in my heart to receive these gifts from His hand.

 

So, how do you listen when there’s only silence?

You wait, with expectant heart. Because if you live within earshot of your Shepherd, He’s going to speak when the time is right. Sometimes it’s through a Scripture that says, “See? I prepared you to hear this.” Sometimes it’s through a quiet prompting of His Spirit.  Sometimes it’s through doors slammed shut or windows thrown open. Sometimes it’s through a timely word from a friend. Sometimes it’s in a whirlwind; other times it’s in a whisper.

Wait for it…

 

Now, it’s your turn

Will you share how has He spoken to you so far this year? Specifically, has He spoken something through His Word that you hope to carry with you all the way through 2014? Let us know–it will encourage all of us!


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13 thoughts on “Listen… Wait for it…

  • melissa stadtlander

    Jeanelle, sweet friend, thank you so much for sharing what He has spoken to you this year. It truly inspires me! What a faithful God! I have been seeking Him for this year as He has led me down unexpected paths and journeys. I have had to ask myself “where is my full satisfaction-is it in Him?” Ps. 63:1-8 is the passage He has led me to. It is where I want my mind and heart to dwell this year. Where do I go when my soul is thirsty? Do I praise Him and find Him fully in everything He brings across my path? Do I turn to Him for help? Do I live in a way that shows that I am held safe and secure in the shadow of His wings? All these questions I know I will be able to answer confidently when I am still before Him! He will be all I need and I will be fully satisfied in Him! …”because Your lovingkindess is better than life, my lips will praise You. So I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth offers praises with joyful lips…” Thank you so much for encouraging us to sit at His feet, be still and wait, knowing all the while that He has a good word, precious words just for each one of us-His children!

    • Jeanelle Reider Post author

      It has been such a joy to walk with you in this year, seeing you do exactly what you have determined, my sweet friend. You’re going straight to Him in your thirst; you’re settling deep in the shadow of His wings; you’re blessing Him through a life of worship. It’s such a privilege to wait with you for those good words He keeps speaking to both of us, right when we need them.

  • Frances Harvey

    Jeanelle, So beautifully expressed and communicated! I am so encouraged and ready to hear His voice! I have been on a new path as He has called me to be a Certified Christian Life Coach. It all happen so faith, literally from the seed He planted in my heart to being Certified was a 5 months span! My head is still whirling. But I too struggle with doubts, anxiety and some MAJOR spiritual warfare! I am more convinced that I am on the path of His will because of these things. I am encouraged and lifted up by your blog and it is such a great reminder of THE MOST IMPORTANT thing I can do! Recently, He keeps speaking and reminding me of “His Unfailing Love” It is no mistake or mystery that it keeps coming up. He just gently tells me over and over that His love is bigger than anything and it will NEVER fail!

    I will be sharing on my FaceBook page and look forward to reading more of your heart and what God is saying through you! Thank you for your obedience to Him… May He bless you above and beyond anything you can imagine. Love you much and miss you….Frances <3

    • Jeanelle Reider Post author

      Frances, I’m so impressed and inspired with the way you listened to God show you something bigger than you could have imagined, and just stepped out of the boat! I can only imagine how your head is whirling! I have had my share of spiritual warfare for the two years writing this book, but knowing God led me to do it is what kept me at it. The Scripture that was my theme all last year was Mary’s response in Luke 1: “May it be done to me according to Your Word.” Such a simple, faith-filled, humble, bring-it-on response. An open-handed trust that God would do with it whatever was best. Wow. I want a heart like that. Sounds like your heart is already a good ways there!

  • Diane Page

    I have to echo Sarah Jenkins and this I do with my head hanging down in shame. I am home all day with a slight disability and yet I keep busy with things like reading, tv, knitting, sewing, etc. I DO have time for more constructive time with the Lord. I have had time to read the Bible, but have been reluctant to pray (not sure why). This BLOG may keep me more accountable Thank you Jeanelle, you have always been the friend unafraid to ask how my spiritual life is.

    • Jeanelle Reider Post author

      Oh my dear friend, don’t let your head hang down for long! Grace would lift your eyes to Him and see tender help! Was reading in Isaiah 1 this week (about God’s people worshiping with the wrong heart), and a note I had written in the margin of verse 18 (from author Tony Becket) says, “The door to true worship is held wide open by God.” That’s grace. I count on it every single moment, and much more than I like to admit. Thanks for your humble and vulnerable response!

  • Sarah Jenkins

    What an amazing post!! Thank you for the excellent insight into listening for and hearing the Lord’s voice in our lives! I was convicted by the Holy Spirit in that I have been too “busy” with other things to give Him time. Thank you for reminding me that it’s more important to let HIM do the talking and wait to hear the words than it is to get my “checklist” done for the week or weekend. :)

    • Jeanelle Reider Post author

      Sarah, thanks so much for those kind words, and for listening to the Lord along with me. Your comment is a good reminder right back to me! Also, I can’t thank you enough for helping set up this website! (And hopefully it won’t continue to be one of those things that continues to keep you so busy!) :)