“He who has ears, let him hear”

“Hear Jessie…”

Hear what?

After listening to the parable of the seed (Matthew 13), I went on a walk through the woods looking for seed on a path, on rocks, in thorns/kudzu, on fertile soil…I’m a visual learner. As the sun hit my back I looked at some rocks, standing over them to cover them with my shadow. If only I could stand here and shade the seed from the scorching sun, then maybe it would grow. Or if I could create a space for the seed in the thorns, then it would grow. But thorns take over fertile soil unless someone rips it all out, and I can’t stand to shade forever. It takes someone much bigger than me to cultivate all that land. I can’t do it all, but I want to.

“Hear Jessie…

All those times you thought it was your burden to speak the truth of the gospel into people’s lives, that wasn’t your burden. I’ve asked you to pray and show up, professing the hope in you, but that should be freeing, not burdensome.”

“He who has ears, let him hear.” I’ve always thought that Jesus was imploring the non-Christian to hear his message. If they would just hear the truth (preferably coming from my mouth), then they’d know. I never thought that Jesus might be asking me to stop and listen. Frankly, I’d much rather ask questions. Especially the ones that might make people think I’m intelligent. Ask and search, then ask better and search better. If I could just get the right formula, ask the right questions to the right people, I’d know. And if I knew, then my lost friends would hear and know.

All my searching shows me a couple things about my heart. I’m uncomfortable with the not knowing (read: I don’t trust where the Lord has me spiritually); I desperately want to earn my own salvation as well as salvation for my friends; and I rarely know rest. Thankfully, 1 Corinthians gives some solace to the one who struggles with the not knowing (s/o to Carryl for the reminder).

“Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known”

Even the things we know here, we can’t fully. So what do I do? Jason Young told us recently to “find joy the questions.” I want that kind of rest. God is good, and dwelling on his goodness brings joy and peace that permeate every facet of my life. The goodness of God has been on my heart and mind a lot this month. Knowing his goodness is inextricably connected to resting and hearing. For now I’m going to proclaim his goodness in hopeful expectation that I believe it and then learn to rest and truly hear.

My prayer: Lord there’s a lot going on in my mind about who you are, who I believe you are, and how I behave in response to who I believe you are. Help me to that place where I know the rest that comes when I stop searching frantically and instead hear you and what you have for me right now. Let me not seek to by-pass the journey or listen only long enough for sound bytes.


J. Nordstrom