November 7, 2008
“You have seen many things, but have paid no attention; your ears are open, but you hear nothing.” Isaiah 42:20 (NIV)
The squeaking that was coming from under the hood of my car was getting louder and louder, to an unavoidable degree. “Mom,” my son said as he got out of my car in the carpool line at school, “Please do something about that. It’s embarrassing.” I had to admit he was right. Something was definitely wrong with my car. The funny noise was a warning sign to attend to the problem lest I end up stranded on the side of the road with smoke billowing from the hood. Even though the noise was annoying and embarrassing, I had to admit I was grateful for the chance to attend to a problem before it got serious.
Whether it’s a squeak, a ping, a knock, or a rattle, we all have those little noises in our life as well. And even though they might drive us crazy, we have to admit that they can serve a great purpose. We need to be alerted to the more serious underlying problems that exist, lurking where we might not see them. God is gracious to provide those for us—if we will only learn to listen and respond. Those noises might annoy us, nag at us, and be most unwelcome sounds, but just think where we might end up without them!
There is that whiny sound that comes from a child who needs your attention and affirmation—an indication that perhaps a special day for just the two of you or a heart-to-heart conversation is needed.
There is that grumbling sound that comes from a husband who is feeling neglected—an indication that regular date nights need to be reinstituted in your marriage, and that less time should be spent on distractions and more time spent on him.
There is that rumbling earthquake noise that comes from a boss who has made one too many little comments about your job performance—an indication that it’s time to pray for God’s wisdom and for job security in these uncertain times.
There is that loud chainsaw noise that comes from bills that are stacking up and creditors that are calling—an indication that it might be time to get some help with managing your money.
There is that nails on chalkboard sound of all those little worries that nag at you—an indication that it’s time to get intentional about turning your worries and doubts over to God, laying them at His feet and trusting Him to take care of the rest.
Most of all, there is the noise of a gentle, rushing wind that is God’s constant whisper calling out to us—an invitation to draw close to Him and experience His presence, banishing the loneliness, hurt and rejection when we do.
What little noises are you hearing in your life? Do you need to attend to them now before a relationship suffers, or you lose something valuable? It’s hard to stop in the midst of all our busyness and attend to things that aren’t quite urgent yet. Still, those little noises are often big indicators of much deeper issues. Don’t ignore the warning signs in your life. Ask God to help you hear them when you need to. I know I need to turn my ear towards those noises instead of away from them as I am prone to do. Ignoring them won’t make them go away. I don’t want to end up on the side of the road in my relationships, my job, or my life because I didn’t pay attention to those little indicators that something was wrong.
Dear Lord, I need You to draw my attention to those little noises in my life. Sometimes I get so busy and forget to listen. And sometimes I hear them but I just ignore them because I don’t want to deal with what’s not right in front of me. Lord, I know those noises are little indicators of bigger problems lurking. Help me to hear them and respond before it’s too late. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
When You’re Running on Empty by Cindi McMenamin
He Speaks To Me: Preparing to Hear from God by Priscilla Shirer
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Do you have a story of a time when you ignored one of those little noises and later wished you hadn’t? Maybe you have learned good ways to deal with little noises in life that you could share with others. If so, drop by Marybeth’s blog and leave a comment.
What is a little noise in your life that you have been ignoring? Has God brought it to mind even as you have read this devotional? Take time today to pray for wisdom in how you can best address this little noise—and the need behind it—in your life.
Isaiah 6:10, “Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.” (NIV)
Jeremiah 6:10, “To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed so they cannot hear. The word of the Lord is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it.” (NIV)
© 2008 by Marybeth Whalen. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Friday, 07 November 2008.