How’s your hearing?

By Cindy Kemmerly

There once was a man that whispered, God, speak to me.” And a meadowlark sang, but the man did not hear.  So, the man yelled back, “God speak to me!”  And the thunder rolled across the sky, but the man did not listen.  The man looked around and said, “God, let me see you.”  And stars too numerous to count shone brightly, but he noticed it not.  The man then shouted, “God, show me a miracle,” as he looked down upon his newborn son sleeping in his crib.  But the man was unaware.  So, the man cried out in despair, “Touch me, God, and let me know you are here!”  Whereupon God reached down and touched the man, but the man brushed the butterfly off the back of his hand and walked on into the living room.

Another story… A man was having difficulty communicating with his wife and concluded she was becoming hard of hearing.  So, he decided to conduct a hearing test without her knowing about it.  One evening he sat in a chair on the far side of the room.  Her back was to him, and she could not see him.  Very quietly he whispered, “Can you hear me now?”  There was no response.  Moving a little closer, he asked, “Can you hear me now?” Still no reply.  Quietly he edged closer and whispered the same words, but still no answer.  Finally, he moved right in behind her chair and said, “Can you hear me now?”  To his surprise and chagrin, she responded with irritation in her voice, “For the fourth time, YES, I can hear you just fine!  Didn’t you hear me shouting back?”

The premise of these two stories is:

1) When God speaks, make sure you do not miss out on his blessing because it is not packaged the way you expect.

2) The hearing problem is never with God not speaking but 1000% us not hearing.

Recently, I came across these two stories, and although I had read similar stories that were intended to convey the same messages, these were new to me, and they “set me to thinking”, so to speak.  I wondered how many times God had spoken to me or revealed himself to me in ways I didn’t recognize.  I had to chuckle when I read the story of the man who thought his wife was hard of hearing because when praying through something that is troubling to me, seeking God’s will, or asking for direction, I have often reminded God, “You know, God, I’m hard of hearing, so please speak loudly.”  Do you ever feel that way, or am I the Lone Ranger?  I believe he knows he’s got to make it plain for me.

There had been an ongoing issue that my heart had struggled with for some time, and these stories reminded me of a particular encounter I had with God.  I was headed to Ruston one day and found myself sitting at the red light at the corner of Highway 80 and Highway 531.  I was on Highway 80 behind a truck burning oil.  I don’t know about you, but the exhaust fumes from a vehicle burning oil will give me an almost immediate headache.  I quickly decided that if the truck turned right, I would go straight.  If it went straight, I would turn right.  Well, the truck turned right.  As I headed toward the Ada-Taylor I20 on ramp, I began to, yet again, pray about my issue.  I don’t always pray aloud, but on this day, I not only prayed aloud, I prayed loud!  I pleaded with God once again to give me clarity – to give me answers – to give me understanding.  I apologized to him for being so hard of hearing.  In tearful desperation mixed with some fear, I asked for his patience with me as I apologetically, like Gideon, threw out a fleece asking for a sign.  Shortly afterward, I found myself turning left onto the I20 on ramp.  At the moment I turn and look toward I20, I was indeed met with my “ sign”.  I don’t know if you’ve seen what I call the Jesus truck, an 18 wheeler with giant letters spelling JESUS that span the entire length and height of the trailer, but that’s what I saw perfectly timed passing in front of me as I sped down the ramp.  God knows I’m hard of hearing, and I guess he thinks I don’t see well either because this massive truck bearing the beautiful name JESUS was impossible to miss.  My loud emotional outpouring immediately turned to equally loud praise and uncontrollable laughter.  I was in complete awe!  I’m sure there have been many times I’ve been too busy, too self-absorbed to see him or hear his voice, but I know that, on this day, he made sure I didn’t miss it.

Some may consider my encounter to be a coincidence.  I don’t believe in coincidences.  I believe that God knew exactly what I needed and provided it in a way that I would finally recognize.  This is certainly not the only time I’ve seen God’s hand, but these two stories reminded me that I need to pay closer attention so as not to miss God speaking to me simply because his voice and his answers don’t come packaged as obviously as in the JESUS truck.

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