Quick to Listen

My dearly loved brothers, understand this: Everyone must be quick to hear, and slow to speak, and slow to anger. – (James 1:19, HCSB)

My dear brothers and sisters, always be more willing to listen than to speak. Keep control of your anger. – (James 1:19, ERV)

Listen, open your ears, harness your desire to speak, and don’t get worked up into a rage so easily, my brothers and sisters. – (James 1:19, VOICE)

Imagine the conflicts that would be avoided if only we all followed these directions. When we are quick to listen, we hear the heart, hope and experience of the one before us, and it provides an opportunity to understand where another is coming from. Additionally, if we pause, listen and process before we respond, we are far more likely to speak out of love and not become frustrated or angry. Our charge is to be patient and not allow anger to fly out of control. God is faithful to provide the strength and self-control necessary to listen first and respond well. May we ever seek the Lord to lead us to listen intently and be slow to speak, so that anger is kept in check and our words and deeds are led by His love.

Help us to listen,

So we truly hear;

The heart of others,

All those who are near.

Show us to slow down,

To be slow to speak;

So ev’ry response,

Is kind and in peace.

Lord, help our anger,

Be under control;

So love is what leads,

And grace is our goal.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You listen to us with love every time we speak. Thank You that You respond to us in love and do not easily anger. Forgive us for the times that we have not slowed down enough to truly hear those around us, or have listened only to respond, rather than to truly hear. Please check our hearts when anger rises so that we would slow down and place all in Your hands to lead us. Show us how to listen in love well so that those around us may see Your heart for them. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to lead us to listen well and do all things in love and with self-control. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

I call on You, God, because You will answer me; listen closely to me; hear what I say. – Psalm 17:6

Be Still O My Soul

Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from Him. – (Psalm 62:1, NIV)

For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation. – (Psalm 62:1, ESV)

My soul quietly waits for the True God alone; my salvation comes from Him. – (Psalm 62:1, VOICE)

The older I get, the more I recognize that I want rest to come on my terms. God creates opportunities often, yet when it is not what I intended or not what I had hoped for, it takes a bit of time for me to recognize the opportunity to rest. I have a seemingly insatiable desire to be moving and doing, not resting and being still. Each time that I embrace the time and space that is intended for rest, I find refreshment and am reminded anew of the goodness and hope that I have in Him. Salvation is not only peace for today, but it is our hope forever. May we ever make time to quietly wait on the Lord, for it is in such spaces that we find His rest and are reminded of the joy of our salvation.

Be still, O my soul,

In silence, seek rest;

The Lord is faithful,

And He knows what’s best.

Sometimes it’s quiet,

The absence of sound;

Space to truly hear,

Where our hope is found.

Ever He’s faithful,

To meet all our needs;

With grace He provides,

And in love, He leads.

Help us to seek You,

In quiet, find rest;

Our hope forever,

As You know us best.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You is where we truly find rest. Thank You that You provide time and space for us to be silent before You. Thank You that You remind us again and again of the hope that is held forever in You. Forgive us for our restlessness and our resistance to rest in the spaces that You provide. Teach us to trust You more, so that when unexpected quiet or solitude come, we might embrace the grace that You have given us to find rest in Your presence. Show us how to love those around us in ways that point to hope and rest that You alone provide. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we find rest in the time and space that You provide and quietly wait in the hope that we hold in You. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength…” – Isaiah 30:15a