Tears were flowing. The frustration of our daughter Fayth not listening was overwhelming my wife, Stephanie. Not to mention she is 8 months pregnant might have something to do with the water works. Stephanie was in one of her spells of exhaustion and frustration. This happens every now and again. We were about to learn a lesson one listening takes time.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. – 2 Peter 3:9
We continued talking over the phone. Fayth had just finished her swim lesson and Steph needed to vent. The vent turned into the cry of frustration over our daughter not listening or understanding.
It is frustrating to me as well. We have to repeat our directions over and over again. The methods we have attempted are in many different variations. We have tried soft gentle tones, stern tones, same level eye contact, and many others, but still none of the methods seem to work.
Listening Takes Time
As I sat in my chair, I listened to Steph. I heard Steph’s words, but more importantly I was listening to what lay behind the words.
Steph is not an overly emotional woman, but she will have these breakdowns every so often.
What was she crying over? Was it the frustration of not listening? Or was there something deeper?
I waited to hear what was being said and what was not being said. I was listening to what God was speaking to me in the same moment as well. Very often when we have run into issues with our little 5-year-old daughter with Down syndrome, there was something God was wanting us to learn also.
God did NOT disappoint. Listening takes time.
I finally began to respond to Stephanie’s frustrations. I confirmed her emotions and agreed with her sentiment. But then I added whether God might be teaching us something.
God began his lesson on listening.
I write this because after I finished, Steph told me I needed to write it down and publish it.
Many times when God speaks through me, I completely forget what I said. Literally, 5 minutes after I finished talking, Steph said I should write about our conversation. I told her I don’t remember what I said. She laughed because she knows this happens to me.
Steph walked me through what I had said.
God’s Lesson on Listening Takes Time
I know it is frustrating to not have Fayth listen or understand us. We want her to hear us and act upon what we tell her because we have her best in mind. We know that if she just is able to hear and obey what we tell her to do, she will benefit from it.
But yet it still takes a long time for her to respond and react.
Sure, there are some things she reacts to quickly, but most of the time it takes repetition on our side to get her to listen.
I wonder how different we are in relation to God our Father. He speak to us all the time in many different ways and methods, but yet we still do not hear Him.
God has used loud tones, soft whispers, life events, attention-getters, loved ones, and etc. Yet we still do not listen well.
If God has the best in mind for us, then why don’t we listen to him?
Just like Fayth, we are distracted by all the different stimulus around us. Simply put, listening takes time. It takes time to eliminate the distractions, focus our minds, and learn the rhythm of healthy listening. Learning the art of listening does not come easy for most people. We have to learn how to listen to God.
If God were like us as imperfect parents, He probably would get impatient with us. However, God is patient and persistently pursuing His children. We need to do the same as parents.
Possibly the greatest lesson that we could learn from Fayth is listening takes time. Listening takes time in learning how to hear God and for Fayth learning how to listen.
God, thank you for teaching me that listening takes time. I will be more diligent in eliminating the distractions to hear your pure, loving voice. I will be more patient in allowing the time for Fayth to learn how to listen. Father you are patient and gracious in our hard of hearing hours, teach me to have your patience as the father of our two, soon to be three children. Thank you for using Fayth once again as an instrument to speaking to us.
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