The Noisy Reminder I Needed

“He that has ears to hear, let him hear!” Jesus often said. It seems pretty obvious, but if you’re anything like me, your ears aren’t always doing their job.

I am beginning to understand how dull my hearing is and how blind my eyes can be to the activity of God around me. This realization has only dawned upon me though as I have taken time to look back at key moments in my life and search for where God was and what He was up to. What is it that they say about hindsight? It’s usually much closer to 20/20 than middle-of-right-now-sight is, that’s for sure.

All the ways that God was trying to get my attention in the past are helping me to finally begin to trust that He is just as active and present in the here and now, even when my vision is blurry and my hearing muffled.

About a year ago, I visited a walk-in clinic first thing in the morning. Being without a family doctor, I didn’t know what else to do when an unfamiliar pain began to worry me. I had to see a doctor somewhere, somehow; and I knew a virtual visit wasn’t going to do the trick for this invisible malady.

In my quiet time that morning the Lord reminded me to keep my eyes and ears open, to be intentional about noticing all the ways, big and small, that He was with me. As I drove to the walk-in clinic that morning, I determined to really tune in to what was happening around me with a sense of anticipation that God would meet me.

Arriving at the clinic, I parked my car and ended up in a line that snaked through numerous corridors. My heart sank. There must have been fifty people ahead of me. Would I even get seen by the doctor? Whatever was causing my discomfort, I reminded myself that I was doing what I could to get to the bottom of it. Surely nothing more was required of me in that moment. I wasn’t ignoring it, explaining it away, or procrastinating. I was here, in this ridiculously long line up. I was doing what I knew to do.

As I approached the door to the waiting room where I would register and have my name added to the growing list of patients, I could hear a loud voice coming from within. It was shouting and sounded as if it were delivering some kind of speech. I assumed it was a news story airing on TV and wondered what this person was so riled up about. But as I stepped through the doorway a few minutes later, I noticed the television on the wall was silent. It wasn’t even turned on, let alone turned up.

A man in soiled work clothes and filthy rubber boots was slouched in a chair close to the receptionist’s desk, watching something on his lap, and I realized that all the racket was coming from his little phone. How rude not to be using headphones or earbuds, I thought. Some people!

I glanced around and wondered how long it would take, in this cramped room, before someone would march over and grab his phone or yell at him to turn it off. He was lucky he hadn’t gotten a fist in the face already, considering how long he’d been watching his phone in this crowd of sick people who were probably in pain and at the end of their frayed nerves.

That’s when I heard it, when I finally had “ears to hear” what was blasting from the little speaker on his phone. “Cast all your cares on Him,” said the passionate voice. “How many? Aaaaaall! Cast all your cares on Him, because He cares for you. Your broken heart? Cast it on Him. Your frayed nerves? Cast it on Him. Your health concerns? Cast them on Him! Cast all your cares on Him! How many of them? All of them!”

As the preacher continued, in a style so peculiar to my upbringing and church experience, I let his words wash over me. Every single one of them. All of them! They were exactly what I needed to hear. Smiling behind my face mask, I caught the man’s eye and hoped that my eyes communicated my thanks.

The truth that he was so “rudely” listening to was the truth that my troubled heart needed in that moment. I laughed inside as I breathed a prayer of thanks to God too. I would have had to be downright deaf and without any ears at all if I couldn’t recognize His voice then and there. He was with me, ready to carry all the cares that I cared to roll on Him. And perhaps I wasn’t the only one in the waiting room who needed the reminder, because no one ever did ask him to turn it down.

I’m still waiting for my health concern to be resolved. I don’t have an answer yet. But I do have an answer for what to do with the anxiety it’s causing. That’s one of those cares I’m not meant to carry. I have a Saviour who knows all about it. More than that, He cares about it. He cares about me. And He offers His shoulders to bear my burdens. Every single one of them. All of them!

This article was originally posted at Well Christian Woman.

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