ListenNew Every Morning | April 23, 2018
AS A YOUNG MINISTER, I made many presumptuous mistakes, convinced I knew best, rushing in to advise and guide others before God’s purpose and plan had time to unfold and reveal themselves. I remember one especially tragic occasion. A young woman in my church was due to be married in less than a month. I had counseled these two fine young people; all the arrangements had been made for a lovely ceremony: music, dresses, flowers, reception. We had read and reflected together on the meaning of the words in the marriage service.
Then the young woman was diagnosed with a seriously disabling neurological disease. Her anguished fiancé came to talk with me. What should they do? What if she got worse? He loved her, but could he handle a chronic illness either emotionally or financially?
I listened to him, or at least thought I was listening, but I was on the side of young love. I did not help him realistically pay attention to the grim prognosis or listen at depth to his worry. I knew what I would have decided and would have done in those circumstances. I encouraged him to go ahead with the marriage if she agreed. I told him possibly a happy marriage would help heal her or send the disease into remission.
I was mistaken. Within a year the wife was a helpless invalid and her husband deeply embittered. I look back in sorrow. I had not coerced him, but my enthusiasm was ignorant and presumptuous. I should have listened more closely to his reservations and urged him to wait – to think, pray, talk with others, and listen for God’s answer to unfold.
– Flora Slosson Wuellner
Enter by the Gate
From pages 50-51 of Enter by the Gate: Jesus’ 7 Guidelines When Making Hard Choices by Flora Slosson Wuellner. Copyright © 2004 by Flora Slosson Wuellner. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
Look for opportunities to listen to others this week. Share your thoughts.
As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?”
Acts 8:36, NRSV
This Week: pray increased faith. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.
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This week we remember: Anselm
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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I truly value the encouragement and feedback I receive from my fellow “listeners” here. Thank you for your continued prayers for my mom as this new leg of the journey commences. Yesterday went fairly well – she was able to get her mind off of current circumstances to some extent. We had lunch out and then played cards for a few hours. She was emotional when we left. She is scared about this afternoon, what will occur and then the unknown of the side effects – when, which ones, how many, to what extent. Dad, bless his heart, is so compassionate with her. What a joy it has been to see his faithfulness and love throughout all of this.
Have mercy on my family, Lord Jesus.
Jill, so glad that yesterday went faily well. Praying that today will be even better for your mum, you and your family.
Yes, may God’s double portion of grace and mercy be upon us and our families!
Blessings to all and may everyone have a great week ahead!
Thank you Jill for your post about your Mom’s birthday. Am so glad it went so well. Yes, the unknown makes us unsettled. Prayers for God’s calm and peace today. May the treatment do what is needed with the fewest possible side effects. Blessings to all of you today. In Jesus’ name. I pray. Amen.
Lord, help me be a better listener and increase my faith.
Listening with hearts is so much more than just listening with our ears. Praying that I can truly listen to others in my daily interactions this week. Good devotion.
Jill, I am lifting up your mom this day as she begins this new medical journey. The wisdom of the doctors and strength of you and your family as she will need you in new and powerful ways. So glad you got that celebration time yesterday for her birthday. She’ll carry that memory with her this week .
Grateful for time this weekend with our close friends as we visited them on Friday, and with our church family on Saturday for a mission dinner for a young lady. We are so blessed to have friends of all kinds, near and distant, to support us on the journey. Prayers for this special group of listeners this day.
Yes, so glad Gloria and her family shared a warm and loving day yesterday. Perhaps, Jill, you could suggest that your mother reflect on yesterday this afternoon as she undergoes her chemo. This would give her a concrete recent memory on which to focus rather than her fears.
Prayers of thanks for Betsy and her husband’s many friends and time to enjoy them.
Prayers for Robert, Erich, aand Pearl. Prayers that Pearl begins sleeping later in the mornings.
Update, my foot is healed. My fingers are taking longer due to the long winter. My knee is also taking longer due to the stress from when my foot was so bad. Thank you for your prayers.
May I listen more and speak less.
Bessings and prayers for and thank you to all of the UR family of listeners
You don’t live in a world all alone. Your brothers are here, too.
Heartfelt wishes for strength for Jill’s Mom, Gloria, as she begins her treatments. May they heal her and may any after effects be easy, or better yet, non-existent. “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” “Thus saith the Lord”
Glad Julie’s foot is healed. Yes, we don’t live in this world alone. We have Brothers and Sisters in Christ.
Robert, my son’s cat wakes them up with a “gentle head bump”.
“Onward Christian Soldiers, marching as to war. With the cross of Jesus going on before”.
Prayers for Jill, her parents and her sister today. Prayers for further healing of Julie’s fingers and knees. Prayers for Robert, Erich, Anneliese, Mary and her parents, Connie and her husband, Betsy and her family, Marcy, and all UR friends.
Yes, Flora Slosson Wuellner always speaks to me. …let God’s purpose and plan have time to unfold and reveal themselves, rather than rushing in to advise and guide. I try to do this with my daughter. I do need to resolve to listen better when she is critical – there is something underneath it, an insecurity and an anger. I pray for guidance. She is angry at me again, and I am downcast and tense about it. Please pray also for my husband’s sister’s overnight visit with us today. I find her to be a very difficult person, very judgmental, critical, and often quite rude. I will put on my shield of armor.
I do have difficulty with relationships and pray to learn how to navigate the natural differences and conflicts that arise between us very imperfect human beings.
Blessings all this Monday in the week ahead.
In our relationships, may God be glorified!
Prayers for you Andrea, your daughter, Lowell, and the upcoming visit of his sister. Prayers for peace, calm, right decisions and actions, and resolution. May God guide you and show you the way.