Stop and Listen

26 Jan

Another wonderful  devotion that really spoke to me this morning–especially since I was at the office last night until 9 trying to fix a network problem.  After hours of striving, the answer came in an instant and then it only took moments to get the problem solved.  How many times do we try, try, try and not stop and listen.  Hope this speaks to you.

While cleaning out my mother’s attic, I found a big metal suitcase.  Shortly before this I had read in the newspaper about a family that had lost everything due to a fire, along with all their precious keepsakes.  I decided to take my keepsakes from a flammable suitcase and transfer them to this sturdy fireproof one.I did that; then took the latch that was hanging down in the middle and closed it.  Too late I wondered if I might have locked the suitcase.  I had.  And I had no key!

Oh, no, I’ve locked all my treasured things in here.  What can I do? I wondered.

Descending from the attic, I went to gather up everything I could think of that might help me to break open that sturdy lock.  I found some small keys that had opened other suitcases.  Then I checked out my tools: screwdrivers, ice pick, hammer and big nails.  Back up to the attic I went, armed for action.

First I tried the little keys; they didn’t work.  Then I tried the screwdrivers, first wriggling them in the lock itself, then using them to try to pry the lock open. It was July with a heat wave.  As I worked on that lock, the attic became hotter and hotter, more uncomfortable by the minute.

Well, maybe the ice pick will work, I thought.  I stuck it into the lock–and the point broke off!  I spent a moment regretting the loss of that handy pick; as far as I knew, they weren’t made any more!  After that, I tried to break the lock by pounding a big nail into it with the hammer.

That didn’t work either.  I went down and got a crowbar; that threatened to tear the top off the suitcase.

Hot, defeated, and discouraged, I gave up.

While I had been going through that adventure, I had asked the Lord to help me; but I had been busier working than listening.  Sometime later I looked up and said, “Lord, You know the answers to everything, and Your Spirit is right in me.  Please put in my mind what to do!”

Then to my mind came this:  “Try your electric drill.”

I got the drill and fitted it with a big bit and went to the attic to tackle that lock again. Putting the drill in the lock, I pressed the button.  Three seconds later the latch popped open!

“Thank you, Lord!” I exclaimed.

Later I thought about all the effort I had put into trying to open that lock, the frustration, the discomfort, and my broken irreplaceable ice pick.  If only I had stopped and waited on the Lord in the first place, I might have saved myself all that grief!

How can we forget what Jesus promised His followers?  “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.  My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home in him” (John 14:23 ).  So if our Lord is in us (and He is all-knowing), He can not only guide us in the big things and decisions; He can even help us with locks and stuff–if we seek, stop–and listen.

QUESTIONS:

How can we know we are being guided by the Spirit of God? What must we do to know God’s guidance in our lives?

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3 Responses to “Stop and Listen”

  1. "Maggie" January 26, 2008 at 8:29 pm #

    “How many times do we try, try, try and not stop and listen.”

    Worth saying again. Awesome to see how God is still speaking to you in such a busy time! Blessings, friend!

  2. graceisenough January 27, 2008 at 12:36 am #

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing.

  3. John Mwangi March 19, 2008 at 3:50 pm #

    What an inspiring story, especially after struggling to solve an intractible wide-area network problem.

    Incidentally i was searching for manaufacturers of durable fireproof suitcases. Care to email the name of the manufacturer?

    God bless you.

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