When you are hard of hearing, listening becomes vital to knowing what’s going on. I can’t hear very well, I wear hearing aids to correct it. I have trouble hearing low tones, even with corrective measures. So, if I want to actually hear something, I have to focus closely and listen for it. When you loose your hearing, you realize how important it is and how much you miss when you go from barely hearing to hearing somewhat with hearing aids. I didn’t realize that I wasn’t hearing birds chirp in the spring, crickets singing, or even cars buzzing by when I went walking. I have a friend who is completely deaf, I know that she longs to hear. I know how aggravated people get with me for not hearing as well as they do. It’s frustrating and people go on the defense if you tell them you can’t hear well. They often reply with, “I’ve been having trouble hearing today, too.” They speak like it’s a cold that someone catches and quickly heals from.
But back to my original thought, listening is something you have to do more of when you can’t hear well. You have to focus on what you want to hear. You have to give attention to what is being said. You have to hone in on sounds that others hear. When you can hear good, you don’t notice the sounds around you as much. They are normal to your environment. You don’t give it a second thought. You don’t know how blessed you are to hear.
I often think of times in my life when I question God and say, “God, I don’t hear you. Are you even saying anything?” And I come full circle in my mind and think, maybe I’m not hearing because I’ve gotten so used to hearing the same sounds. I’m routinely going about my day and I’m used to things not changing. I have slowly adapted to my environment and all I hear is background noise. Then when something crashes down, I usually run toward the noise to see what it is. In the crashes, I ask what happened? Why did it happen? How did it happen? Perhaps the signs were there, but I wasn’t listening. I got into the mundane routine of life. So then I question God. Maybe He was just trying to get my attention. Maybe He has something He wants to say. Maybe He’s been talking the whole time and I wasn’t listening. So today, I’m going to listen for whatever God wants to tell me. Maybe He wants me to notice someone who needs a little encouragement. Maybe He wants to remind me that He’s beside me. Maybe He wants to show me something I wouldn’t have noticed anyway. Maybe He just wants me to pay attention to Him or spend time with Him.
“Then he added, “Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given[c]—and you will receive even more. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.” Mark 4:24-25
“Listen, O heavens, and I will speak!
Hear, O earth, the words that I say!
Let my teaching fall on you like rain;
let my speech settle like dew.
Let my words fall like rain on tender grass,
like gentle showers on young plants.”