Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Listen, like the one being taught...

I have been in a Bible Study at church called Discerning the Voice of God. One day one of our homework assignments was to meditate on Isaiah 50:4-5. The words lept of the page, and God gave me devotion to share with a group of about 50 or so women, which was very out of my comfort zone, but God used me to share His words. This is what I shared with them. I hope it blesses you.

Isaiah 50:4
The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning. Wakens my ear to listen like the one being taught.

In my life, Ryland, my 2 year old son, is "the one being taught," and interestingly enough, he is being taught to listen. Ryland has hearing loss. We were given a diagnosis and less than one month later he was being fitted for a set of hearing aids, which he received 2 days before his 1st birthday. He looked so adorable in his blue and red hearing aids, Avalanche colors, of course. His face lit up as he could suddenly hear sounds and voices clearer than ever before, and some sounds for the very first time.

Then, began the hard work. Ryland had to learn how to listen to the sounds he could now hear. We as parents had to pay attention to his response to sound and recognize when he noticed a new sound so that we could tell him what it was. He would turn to look at the sound of the water running in the sink. On and off I would turn it so that he could learn, that’s what water sounds like. He would hear the sound of an airplane flying overhead and look and point as I would say “Yes, I hear the airplane, too!”

We began to pour language into Ryland, narrating our actions and labeling everything in sight so that Ryland would have a better understanding of the world around him. Soon, Ryland began to notice his need for his hearing aids. His cute groggy self would wake up from a nap, point and say “Ears” because he wanted to be able to hear.
But the piece that seemed to have the greatest impact, was the ability to communicate. Ryland, slowly but surely, began to tell us what he needed and wanted, but also began to understand our instructions. From the day to day, “Get your shoes” to “Slow down,” and “Be careful!” As he continues to grow, we continue to pour language into him and just delight in watching it spill out of his mouth, becoming clearer and clearer each day. With his new found ability to communicate, he also becomes very loud when he is excited. When he is talking about something he loves, he shouts! “Train!!! CHOOO CHOOO!!!”, for example. Some of his first words and sentences were, “Hi Mama! Uh oh! Help! And I’m hungry!” Nothing however is as precious as hearing him say, “I love you!”

I began to think about how parallel Ryland's learing to listen with his physical ears is parallel to how we need to learn to listen to the voice of God. 1st we had to recognize our problem, and get fitted with ears to hear God’s voice. Next we have to get used to the new sounds around us, and tune into things we may not have heard before, allowing God to make sense of them for us. As we allow God to speak into our lives, everything around us becomes a little bit clearer. Then, slowly but surely, we learn how to communicate freely, openly and clearly with God.

May God’s words spill out of our mouths, as we are given an instructed tongue, like the scripture suggests, "to be able to know the word that sustains the weary."

May our communication with God become clearer and clearer as we listen to his instructions and learn to speak to him. May we move from prayers like “Hi God! Uh oh, help, I’m hungry” to “I love you”.

May our praises to him become louder and louder as we learn more about him and our excitement grows.

May we wake up each and every morning, and point to our ears, ready and excited to hear God’s voice.