Thursday, October 19, 2023

Learning to Listen


By: Donna Bucher

The last two weeks challenged me and put my faith to the test. At times walking hard paths it seemed as if God closed His ears to my pleas for help and direction. Have you ever felt like that? 

"Troubled on every side, perplexed, but not despairing, cast down but not destroyed," is how Paul describes it in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9Though it felt like God turned a deaf ear, we have a history together; His past faithfulness reminded me He heard me.

Still, in overwhelming situations, trusting amid silence tests our faith.

Remaining faithful in Bible reading and prayer, I hoped each day God would help me understand His purpose in the hardships. I wavered between overachievement mode hoping to find something that would please Him and feelings of not being "good" enough.

Knowing neither extreme is truth nor pleasing to God, I finally settled into simply resting and waiting; ultimately trusting in God's goodness.


God is Always Speaking

It’s true. God is always speaking to those who have ears to listen.


His Word is alive, and He gives us everything we need for life and godliness. Creation declares His glory and wonders; lessons innumerable speak about His ways.


God is not bound by any manner of communication and uses His Word, creation, people, books, music, anything He chooses for speaking truth into our lives.


So why did I feel He was silent? I felt that way because I wasn't truly listening.


I wanted to hear a particular response, I wanted to hear answers for my questions and all the "whys" to be settled. God was speaking all along, but I allowed the distraction of my desires and the noise of my trial to deafen my ears to my Father's voice.


God and the Gourd

Unlike us, God never gives up; He continued to meet me on the hard paths and speak His truth to my heart.


Awhile back I attended a sunflower festival on a gourd farm in Carlisle, PA. Learning the story of how the farm started left me in complete amazement. (You can read the full story HERE).

The farm was started in an unusual way with only two seeds found by accident! 


But after a brief season of success, things turned sour, and it seemed all was lost. Until an unexpected discovery changed everything. Things don't look at all like the farmer planned, but they are better than he ever expected. This was a story of overcoming adversity.


God Gives Adversity

Suddenly it was as if all the puzzle pieces fell into place. Bible memory verses, morning devotions and creation whispered answers to my prayers, but like the farmer, they weren't the answers I expected.


As I memorized 1 John 1:1-10, God spoke to me about walking in Light and walking in darkness; that in HIM, there is no darkness, and no darkness can overcome Him.


In Joshua 1:9 He reminded me I can do hard things, (which I shared with you last week...LOL). I do not need to be afraid or dismayed, because He is with me wherever I go.


Reading an excerpt from the life of Helen Keller recently, she was quoted as saying, "it's in the dark, hard places you learn courage." 


My next memory verse, 1 Corinthians 16:13, warned me to be strong and courageous.


Sitting with these things, my eyes (and ears) were opened, understanding God gives adversity in His timing to strengthen my faith, build courage to face hard things, resilience for service and build trust in God's faithfulness.


Ultimately as we grow and mature in Christ, we must learn to walk in the hard places with courage, strength, and trust in God, without crumbling and doubting at the first sign of harsh weather.


Jesus said in this world we would have trouble, but to take heart (be courageous) in Him we have peace, for He has overcome the world. (John 16:33)


He promises to be with you in all places, even in the hard places. He promises to guide you and is always speaking to you.


But sometimes you do not listen.


If you are struggling like I was, take some time to sit quietly and patiently with God, asking Him to reveal what you need to know in your current situation, and then REST and wait patiently with open heart (and ears!) for His answer; it will come.



In what ways have you neglected listening to God?


What one step will you take today to be more open to listening?



Find more encouragement and FREE Resources at Serenity in Suffering!


If you enjoyed this post, please share on social media with the buttons below!

Photo from



Brand New FREE Downloadable Devotional "Hope For Hard Times" Get Yours TODAY at Serenity in Suffering!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for stopping by, we love hearing from you. Please feel free to contact us with any prayer requests or questions by commenting below or emailing us at the About Us page.