By John Peterson
Do you hear what I hear
A song, a song high above the trees
With a voice as big as the seas
With a voice as big as the seas . . . *
It may be a bit early (for some) to start listening to Christmas songs, but it is always the time to listen to God and what He is saying to you.
“But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”” – Luke 11:28
My wife Tammy and I started dating in the spring of 2000…for the second time. We were high school sweethearts and as is sometimes the case, our paths took different directions and we lost track of each other over the years. Circumstances brought us back together about fifteen years later and I was very excited to get to know her once again.
Pretty early in our renewed relationship, I thought she could be the one for me. I didn’t want to tell her that I loved her too early, but I knew those feelings were building up inside me. Then, on May 12, 2000, I lost the hearing in my left ear. It was a sudden, irreversible loss of hearing. My doctor, who is the head of the Otorhinolaryngology (hearing) department at the Mayo Clinic, said that sometimes a patient will have sudden, severe, permanent hearing loss. I asked if it could happen in my other ear and he said that the chances were like being hit by lightning twice.
The only thing I could think of was that if I was “hit by lightning twice”, I may never hear the words, “I love you” from the woman I was falling in love with.
As I think about my hearing loss and the possibility of completely losing my hearing, I wonder how many “I love you’s” God was telling me but I didn’t hear? Even though God has “a voice as big as the seas”, as the song goes, did I miss out on what He was trying to tell me? Missed invitations from God to share His love with others by inviting someone who sits alone at lunch to join me, or to put an extra dollar in a hat held out by someone trying to collect money to feed their family. Instead of listening to what God was trying to tell me, did I turn my deaf ear to what He was saying? I believe God wants each of us to know that He loves us and he wants to show His love to others through us.
Hebrews 2:1 says, “Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it”
In the month of November, many of us focus on things we are thankful for. Let’s be thankful for a God who loves us and wants us to make sure that we hear Him when he says He loves us.
I did have to wait a while, but I eventually heard the words “I love you” from my now wife who I have been married to for 13 years. The words are still a sweet sound to my one “good” ear every time she says them.
God give us the wisdom to hear you when you speak to us. Help us to recognize your voice and take action when you call us to share your love. Thank you for loving us even when we don’t listen to your words. In your Son’s name we pray – Amen.
*”Do You Hear What I Hear? song credits” : Lyrics by Noël Regney and music by Gloria Shayne Baker, 1962.