Come Close and Listen (Joshua 3)

Joshua 3

“I just don’t feel like I can hear God right now.”

I was talking with a young mom whose husband had left her and her child, who was now juggling a two-year-old, trying to maintain an older house with many necessary repairs, and had suddenly and unexpectedly become the sole breadwinner of her household.

This was never how she had imagined her life.

She was struggling, and though I have never been in her exact shoes, she knew me well enough to know that I understood the feeling. You may know the feeling also.

I gave her the only answer that has ever worked for me when my life is so chaotic and loud that I can’t hear God’s voice through the noise. It is the same instruction that Joshua gave the Israelites just before they crossed the Jordan into the promised land. He told them, “Come closer and listen to the words of the Lord your God.” (Josh. 3:9)

I said, “Until you hear from God, turn everything else off. Don’t check your social media, don’t listen to any music other than worship music. (I’m not one of those people who thinks that other music is evil, I love me some country, but when you are desperate to hear from God the last thing you need to hear is someone else crying over their own broken heart.) Worship music elevates our eyes to the Father.

And above all, even though now is the time when you feel that you can least afford the time, do not fail to be studying your Bible, praying and actively listening for God. For me, active listening means that instead of turning on the TV after the kids go to bed and I am tidying up from the day, I leave the house quiet while I work.

During times like these, our only option is to “come closer and listen.”

I have found that when I come close and listen, I never fail to hear from God. God always provides the comfort, instruction and hope that I need. He will for you too.