Matthew 13:15 “These people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise, they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts and turn and I would heal them. But blessed are your eyes because they see and your ears because they hear.”
Last week, my husband and I went to Naples, Florida on a business trip for him. En route we had a little over an hour layover in Orlando. After grabbing some water and a snack, we sat down and waited for our flight to board. While we were sitting, I heard an elderly gentleman a few seats away from me say in a loud voice “hello.” A couple of seconds went by, then, again, “hello.” This time, I glanced over to make sure he wasn’t speaking to me. Nope, he was looking straight ahead. Again, with a little more authority in his voice, he hollered, “hello!” By now (no surprise for those of you who know me), I was tickled. I quickly glanced over at the gentleman and noticed he was on his cell phone. No sooner had I looked, he screamed, yet again, “hello!” I waited in anticipation if the person on the other end would respond, because by now, of course, I was engaged in his one-way conversation. A minute goes by and I heard him say, “I’m in Florida” – a pause – “no, Florida” – another pause – “I’m in Florida” – pause – “I’m in Orlando, Florida, yes, Orlando” – pause – “I’m in Orlando, Florida!” It was obvious he could clearly hear the person on the other end of the line, but his receiver couldn’t hear him. Finally, after much persistence, the elderly gentleman decided it was time to hang up.
As I sat there amused at his determination and surprised at his patience, I wondered, was the connection bad or was the person on the other end of the line hard of hearing or not paying attention to him. Regardless, it was interesting how the man handled it – there was no sign of frustration on his face, no hint of aggravation towards the person on the other end. It was as if he had experienced this before, and he would just try the call again later.
Now, since I have started this blog, I have been making every effort to be more aware of what God might be teaching me at any given moment; and at this moment, through this elderly man, in a busy, crowded airport, God spoke to me. This is what I heard:
“Katie, for so many years, that was Me talking to you. I would call your name over and over again, but you would not answer. Sometimes it was because our connection was bad. You had placed yourself in a spot where it was hard for my call to go through. Other times, it was because you weren’t paying attention when I called. You were too busy with the calls of the world around you that you didn’t even know I was on the line. And, other times, you plugged your ears because you didn’t want to hear what I had to say. Did it frustrate me? No. Did I lose patience with you? Absolutely not. Did it make me sad? A little. You see, I knew the life I had waiting for you. A life that would bring you opportunities to share My love and to build My kingdom. I knew once we had a good connection and you heard My voice, you would begin to look forward to my calls. I’m pleased and relieved we are talking now. For as My son, Jeremiah wrote, thousands of years ago, I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future (Jer. 29:11). I am optimistic you see that future now. Just be sure to continue taking My calls. Stay in range of My connection. Listen for My ringtone. Hear My voice. I’m proud of you. I love you.”
How thankful I am for my Father’s persistence, patience, and determination to get me on the line. For so many years, I was deaf to His precious voice. I was in the group Jesus speaks of in Matthew 13:15 – “these peoples’ heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn and I would heal them.” In recognition of God’s wonderful healing through His mercy and grace, I now find myself in the latter portion of this verse – “But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.” Just because I took His call, listened, and responded, my eyes and ears are blessed – what a generous God we serve! However, with this blessedness comes a responsibility. I “must pay more careful attention, therefore to what (I) have heard, so that (I) do not drift away” (Hebrews 2:1). My responsibility is to continue to hear Him calling – to place myself in a position where I can really recognize and listen to His voice.
How about you? Do you hear His voice calling you? Sometimes the ringtone comes through the reading of His word, other times its through one of His servants, and still other times it comes straight through your heart. Be certain, He is ready to talk whenever you are ready to listen. For in the middle of a hectic travel day, through a stranger in the airport, He called me. Rest assured, He’s calling you too!
Until next week, listening for His ringtone… Katie