Friday, March 16, 2018

Is God Really Listening to Us? 
Jeremiah 31:31-34

I was meeting with a friend the other day at a local coffee shop in the Bay area.  During the meeting, I had the distinct impression that during our conversation he could hear me, but he wasn't really listening.  Although he was physically present, I didn't have his attention. It was disturbing to me seeing his eyes flit around the coffee shop, as if seeking a more interesting conversation.

Sometimes I even wonder if God is not listening to my prayers. Of course, I know that's not true, but still, there are things I've been praying for years. Does God hear? Is God listening? From a theological perspective, I guess the "right" answer is yes, but how can we know, or be sure?  God was certainly listening and acting on behalf of the people of Israel in Jeremiah 31:31-34:

“The days are coming” declares God,
“when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel…

For I will forgive their wickedness
And will remember their sins no more.”

God hears you. No qualifications. No restrictions. No exceptions. God hears. God was present in that coffee shop and if I was truly listening to God, I would have heard God say, “I hear you and I know you.  I love you and accept you for who you are. I have living water to give you.”  In a sense, my friend’s lack of attention was insignificant because God was hearing what I had to say.

God is listening.  Now, let us open up our hearts to what God is saying to us this Lenten season.

Dr. David G. Behrs
SFTS Vice President of Enrollment Management
SFTS MDiv Student