Hearing God


Readings for August 9, 2020

1 Kings 19:9, 11-13
Psalm 85:9-14
Romans 9:1-5
Matthew 14:22-33


No one has ever accused me of having a “still small voice.” Over the years, my wife has often had to remind me, as well as our daughters, to “use an indoor voice.” So a few years ago when I told my wife and kids I was going on my first silent retreat, they were, let’s say, skeptical of my ability to last 3½ days without talking–loudly. I now crave that silence, knowing that I will hear God’s voice more clearly without the din of the world around me.

So I try to start my day with quiet. I wake up early, go into my office facing out the back of the house, open the window, and listen as the world awakes. The first sounds are those of crickets and chirping birds, which grow louder as the sun rises. Since the pandemic first hit, the sounds of the neighborhood come later than they used to. But eventually, people walking and talking, cars with those heading to work, dogs barking, all join the chorus of the morning. It is a peaceful time of day, perfect for reading scripture, praying, and considering the wonder of God’s creation. And what brings this peace is not that the world is quiet, but that I am.

However, most of my life is not spent in silence, not from me or from the world around me. No, the cacophony of the world is ever present in my daily activities. The crushing wind, the quaking earth, the rush of fire, all surround me, at least metaphorically, throughout my day. It seems, then, that amidst the noise of the day, I am called to be patient like Elijah and wait for the “tiny whispering sound,” the still small voice of the Lord.

And when it comes, my response must be to stop and listen. I must exit the relative comfort of whatever it is that makes up my cave and remain silent as He passes by. Quiet stillness in God’s presence allows me to hear His voice. Doing so allows me to heed His call. I seem to do this best on my annual silent retreat or in Eucharistic Adoration. Yet even in the quiet of the moment I am too often filled with the preparation for the noise of the day. I need to seek, patiently, the presence of God; and when I hear His voice, quietly listen. Doing so is true prayer, offering silent reverence to Him Who Is. Doing so allows me to break through the noise of the world, break through my own noise, and truly hear God.

My Lord God, my Father, may I patiently seek Your presence by quieting my heart so that it turns only to You. May I hear Your voice so that I can do Your will in my life. And may doing so bring me peace that comes from understanding Your love working in and through me. Amen

9 thoughts on “Hearing God

  1. Tim,

    Thanx for your feedback at my blog.

    I let the blog go almost cold – at least cool down a lot about a month ago largely because I am working on another project and can’t keep up with both. I have spent a LOT of time in the last few weeks posting my reaction(s) to Corbett, Fikkert, and Lupton yet again because I am ready to focus some thoughts in a chapter on these guys. There is so much to think, say, bring out. But I have done a LOT of that already and I want to say something new.

    I have been dwelling there and seeking conversation so that I can chew on it better. Your input is helping.

    I know it aint much, and I wish for more, but I appreciate what I can get.



    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your post echoes my mornings. I know not all are morning people and that’s ok. But certainly is that time when I find myself more quiet than the rest of the day. When we start out with the peace of God what else do we need.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good point. It isn’t the world that must be still but we should be to hear God whisper something to us.


  4. Thank you Tim,

    Two personal observations.

    1. I have noticed quite often when I open MY mouth, I am letting the Holy Spirit to”escape” from His residence in my heart.

    2. Like you, I have learned that to hear God; I usually need to shut my mouth and just pray and listen for that “still voice.”

    What an Amazing and Personal God we have….Thank You LORD! Amen!


    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is such a powerful discipline to learn. Thank you for your honesty and the reminder to be silent before God. When we allow Him to speak, we value His words more than our own. Your words are a blessing. Keep writing!

    Liked by 2 people

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