A few years ago, we had The Dreamer's hearing tested. We were sure that there must be a physical problem related to her inabilty to hear and obey our instructions. While the doctor could not find any auditory problems, the difficulty continued.
That's when we realized that it was a problem stemming from her heart - being inattentive to our instruction was an act of willful disobedience.
My husband and I have very quiet voices. In fact, if I yell, it causes me great pain, and I often suffer with a sore throat for days afterward. I also sound like a strangled chicken, so yelling as a 'disciplinary tool' in our home is rather laughable! I do have a 'sharp' tone at times, but it's not too pleasant either.
For this reason, we began to use the phrase 'tune your ears to my voice' in order to get our children's attention. It has been effective in training our children to hear and listen to our instruction - and to obey! When they hear that phrase they are to stop what they are doing and turn to face us, they are to cup a hand around their ear and tune in to what is being said. As I was sharing this with a friend yesterday who is also struggling with an inattentive child, I was thinking about how God speaks to me.
I am not the most attentive child my Heavenly Father has. There are so many voices demanding my attention, so much noise in my everyday life that drowns out His still, small voice. His Word speaks to me, but I often take time for just short snaches here and there, little glimpses and not the long thoughtful look I should make the time for. I need to tune my ears to His voice more, for everything He has to say is for my benefit. At times I don't listen simply because I don't like the message; sometimes it is hurtful to see myself through His Word.
Sometimes it takes drastic action to get my attention. Trials and adversity compel me to tune in to God, bringing a better understanding of His love for me. Being homebound with sickness for short seasons leaves more time for listening, sometimes I just need the quiet to open my heart to His voice.
I think Christmas is a time when we are better able to see and hear the heart of God. Throughout Advent we have been reading about the Names of God and my heart has been so blessed to know the The Existing One is my Provider, my Healer, my Redeemer, All-Sufficient, and so much more. His Word is a balm to my soul and washes over me - the familiar Scripture passages are fresh and new with each reading, teaching my heart the wonder of my Saviour.
For many who do not know Jesus as the Lord and Saviour, I sometimes see a softness at this time of year - it is almost as if they cannot help but be drawn to the Voice of God, they cannot help but tune their hearts to Him. There is something unexplainably appealing about the celebration of Christmas. Many who have no time for God in their day to day are irresistably drawn to the Babe in the Manger at Christmas.
I pray that in this season of heightened activity, endless 'to-do' lists, high expectations, stress and over-commitments, we will all find the time to 'tune our ears to His voice' and thus be eternally blessed.