In the past couple of weeks, I have learned, no, re-learned, a valuable lesson about listening. Like many people, I get caught up with the busy-ness of life, measuring my successes by how busy I stay and how much I can accomplish in 24 hours. Oh, of course I talk about my "quiet time", those moments on the porch sipping my coffee and watching birds etc, but, if truth be told, during those quiet moments, my mind is running in circles, thinking and planning what to do next, or mentally making a list of things I want to do, "should" do or just think would be great to do. I am driven by some unseen force to succeed, to have accomplishments. Its not all bad to be that way, but what has happened is, that God has gotten squeezed out. Not much time for Him. And, after all I haven't been totally convinced that what I think He wants me to do, fits in well with this busy life I have made for myself. I am being honest here, relationships need time together and I have been too busy an awful lot lately. So, my hastily whispered prayers, or my prayers that come with desperation, were heard, but I never seemed to hang around to hear that small still voice speak back to me. God, in his infinite mercy took matters in his own hands. First, the arthritis in my knee has been so painful, keeping me from doing a lot of the things I love to do, like hike and walk for miles etc, but instead of using all my resting time for God, I used it for hand work. Never heard God whispering in my ear, calling me close to Him. Then last week, I developed the most severe pain I have ever felt. My entire mid section felt like someone piercing me with an ice pick. Muscle spasms came next. A trip to the Emergency Room showed that I had a pinched nerve in my back. A shot of steroids, enough pain medication to put a horse down and muscle relaxants and I was ordered to do NOTHING for a week. The pain was so great, that I willingly took the pain pills. I was so sleepy that I think for 3 days I slept 20 out of each 24 hours. I begged God to tell me what this is all about. I felt as though I was being punished, but just the opposite was the case. By day 4 I stopped pain medication but kept up with the muscle relaxers. By day 6 I stopped all medication and had no pain, but then something very strange happened, I felt a bit of a back ache, nothing bad, just a little uncomfortable, it made me sit with the heating pad on and settle in for a Dr Pol marathon on Netflix. However, God had other plans. Our Internet went out, not just for a minute, but for a long time, so I turned the plain TV station on,( we don't have cable or dish, just apple TV for Netflix etc) A local religious channel came on and the lady speaking about praying for our children came on. I watched and listened, and she spoke so much about Grace and about listening to God, it became my light bulb moment. The Internet went out just so I would hear Dr Deborah Harris speak. She was talking just to me, it seemed. Although I don't believe God caused my back pain, I do believe He used it to reach me, to use this time of "not doing" to reach me and remind me to give Him some of my time and to keep HIM in all that I do and think and plan and say.
I have been unreachable, too busy to listen. A valuable lesson learned. That in this day and age, we can become so busy, we forget the most important thing in life, to listen to the voice of the Master. By the way, as soon as Deborah Harris was done speaking on the TV, the internet came back on, but I decided to spend some time listening.