One-Way Relationships

14 Nov

The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for Your servant is listening.”flikr-free-one-way

—1 Samuel 3:10

It was summer of 2008 and hotter than you-know-what. I remember this well because that was the summer we decided to move to a different part of Flower Mound, Texas.

With just a few weeks to go, I decided to take the kids up to Kansas City to visit my sisters while we had workers fix a few things at our house. While I was there, I lost my voice.

Like, really lost it. Not that cool, scratchy, husky Sophia Bush sound, but gone.

Nada.

Not even a whisper.

No biggie. I’d had laryngitis before, and my voice always came back, good as new.

This time, however, was different.

Blame it on moving, blame it on exhaustion, blame it on my four-and-a-half-hour radio shift each morning—blame it on whatever—but this time it didn’t come back.

I mean, it came back, just at half-power. When I lost my voice, I didn’t let it fully recover before pushing it, so I developed nodules. Nodules are little calluses on the vocal folds, and bad news for radio people.

I could work, but that was about it. I spent eight months on the church sidelines, mouthing the lyrics to the worship songs I’d once led. I tried steroid treatments and voice therapy, but nothing worked.

Finally, the doctor prescribed seven days of absolute voice rest.

Ever the overachiever, I went nine.

Those nine days were extremely difficult. When you can’t chime in on conversations, people forget you’re there. So much of relating to people is verbal, and when that’s taken away, relationships take a hit.

I could nod or shake my head. I could smile or frown, but unless we use words, meaning is lost.

One of the hardest things about that time was that I felt unheard and unknown. I had stories I longed to tell and encouragement I longed to give. I wanted to sing to my babies and share with my husband, Mike. There was so much of myself that I had to keep to myself, and that goes against the way God created us.

Have you ever considered that the same is true with the LORD?

From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is about a God who delights to reveal Himself to His people. When God made us, He patterned us after Himself, which means we inherited our desire to be known from Him:

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created Him; male and female He created them.”

—Genesis 1:26-27

And what did He do next?

He spoke to them.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

—Genesis 1:28

God is, in the Scriptures, a communicator. He spoke to Abraham and through Moses. He appeared in the dreams and visions of the Prophets, and finally, He sent us His Son.

The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

—John 1:14

Why would He do that, if He didn’t long to reveal Himself?

I have a burden on my heart for the Church today.

I fear that we are missing it. We long for revelation yet miss it entirely if we don’t lean in and listen.

Many of us sit through a sermon on Sunday, listen to praise and worship music on Monday, and might even make it to Bible study on Thursday. We listen to what other people say about Him, sing songs other people pen about Him, and tweet what still others write about Him.

But if we aren’t opening our Bibles and listening to Him, we don’t really have a relationship with Him. When I lost my voice, conversations were one-sided. I didn’t get to contribute. I couldn’t play a part. My ideas, my thoughts, my counsel, went unheard. When we don’t come to the LORD in the Scriptures, we aren’t inviting Him to speak.

Can I share a secret with you?

David the Psalmist, the man after God’s own heart, says He wants to confide in you.

The LORD confides in those who fear Him; He makes His covenant known to Him.

—Psalm 25:14

A beautiful sentiment echoed in the Proverbs:

For the LORD detests a perverse man but takes the upright into His confidence.

—Proverbs 3:32

Think about that for a moment. Don’t skip over those words, but let them sink in.

The LORD, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, who sits outside of time and space has things He wants to say to you.

To you.

At a recent conference Bible teacher Beth Moore put it this way: “He’s not going to give your word to anyone else.”

That ache in your heart? He can fill it.

That nervousness in your stomach? He can stop it.

Those racing thoughts in your mind? He can silence them.

No one knows you like Jesus. No one loves you like Jesus. No one is more reliable and trustworthy than Jesus. No one is better equipped to speak directly into your hurts and hardships than He is. No one gets you like He does.

Friends, let us devote ourselves to more than devotionals and say with Samuel, “Speak, LORD, your servant is listening.”

I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

—Philippians 3:10-11

If you are interested in learning more about understanding the Bible, please join Rebecca Carrell and Bible teachers Lisa Harper, Christine Caine, Jen Wilkin, and Debbie Stuart at the 2017 HeartStrong Faith Women’s Conference. Click HERE for details, registration, and early bird pricing! #HeartStrongFaith is a faith that sustains in a culture of doubt.

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