I have a boy who craves words of affirmation. This boy is a lover, generous both with his words and with his physical affection, probably motivated by how much those very things minister to his own heart.
Not only is he generous with his love, he’s also generous with his energy. Ha. And often it’s all a ten year old boy can do to figure out when, and at what rate, it’s appropriate to let that energy out. It’s a good thing his eyes sparkle like his daddy’s.
His heart is tender. While constant biblical training and correction are absolute necessities in helping him channel his, ahem, excitement for life, I’m also careful to offer praise every chance I get. Building him up when I see evidence of God’s work and grace in his life. He thrives on it, and his behavior responds to it.
We crave life-giving words, don’t we?
And so… a nightly bedtime routine has evolved from this need for my kids to “hear” me well. After everyone is tucked in, I make my rounds to each one, intentionally building up where I can. Some days I have much to go on, and other days, it’s clear that I’ll have to get creative and turn something like teeth brushing into a huge accomplishment. When my “word offering” is through, I begin with my fingers on the tops of their heads, then lightly brush over their faces and down to their chests, while whispering the very same challenge as the night before…
“You let those words sink down deep into your heart.”
Here’s the tricky part, though. I can offer my words every night without fail until I’m blue in the face, but my children have to choose to hear – I mean really hear - and take those words to heart. Otherwise, my voice falls on deaf ears, and those words will never take root and blossom.
While my words of affirmation have great intention and purpose, admittedly they are only a precursor, and shallow in comparison to the life-giving words God has offered us through His Word. More than anything, this farmer is asking God to cultivate soft soil that is receptive to hearing His Truth above any other voice.
“Take care then how you hear…” ~ Luke 8:18
Oh yes, Satan wants nothing more than to snatch up God’s words. The challenges and cares of this world often drown out His still, small voice. While the world presses in, He longs for us to listen….
… to let His Words of hope and His message of salvation sink down deep into our hearts.
The question is, have we really heard Him? I mean, have we really heard Him, in that soul penetrating I’ll-never-be-the-same-because-of-Jesus kind of way? And if we have, are we “blossoming” and spreading His seeds of Truth to those around us?
Truth is, in my human efforts, I’m a lousy farmer. But God…
I will determine to trust the One who gives the ultimate life-giving words through His Word, knowing that I can scatter some seeds, but He’s the One who changes lives.
“Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” ~ Luke 8:8
When was the last time you had your “hearing” checked? Make sure His words of love and life are sinking down deep into your heart today.
At His feet,