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Can You Hear Me Now?
Photo: Linda DuBose
Anyone who watches television at all is probably familiar with the commercial for cell phones using the phrase "Can you hear me now?" The idea is that with poor cell phone reception, the person talking has to keep trying various angles in order for the person on the other end to be able to hear, thus asking "Can you hear me now?"

I wonder if that might be what God thinks sometimes when trying to get a connection with us. God knows we're there and we know God is there, too, somewhere. But the connection can cut in and out sometimes to the point where we can no longer really hear what is being said.

God tries various angles of trying to reach us. We may be given a joyful event such as a marriage, a new baby, a new job, or a multitude of other blessings by which God is trying to make connection with us, asking "Can you hear me now?"

Or we may have a trial such as a failed marriage, a sick child, a lost job, or a multitude of other troubling events which God tries to salvage for our good. And knowing that it is often through difficult times that we turn to the Lord for help, God uses that teachable moment to ask again "Can you hear me now?" "How about now?" "Or now??" 

Most of us could use better reception in our communication with God. It's not that we don't have the right Provider. And the service is free, so we can't complain about that. The only thing that prevents us from a constant, clear line to God is on our end. We can clear up the static, though, by practicing the same rules of telephone communication:

Practice Rules

1. Dial the correct number. In this case, know who you're talking to. If we would stop and think about the immense honor it is to actually speak to the One who created us and to realize that we are actually being heard by that same amazing being, we might be more anxious to make our minds more receptive.

2. Anticipate the message on the other end. Our prayers can sometimes become rather one-sided. That is, we do all the talking without waiting and listening for God to speak to us in one way or another.

3. Report an outage. Sometimes our communication with God can be interrupted by various events or trials of life. We can begin to hear static and cutting away of God's voice. If this happened with our telephones, we wouldn't be long reporting the problem in order to resume the connection. So why not report our spiritual outage to God too? After all, God is the Provider. Who else would know better how to re-connect us?

4. Take advantage of text messages—Bible texts, that is. These are messages from God that are constantly being sent to us if we will just open them up and read them.

5. Say good-bye, anticipating the next hello!

Let's listen and respond as Samuel did: "Speak, for your servant is listening" (1 Samuel 3:10).

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By Gwen Scott Simmons. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture take from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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