Most of us talk too much! As an extrovert, that seems to be my life story. Sigh! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked God to set a guard over my mouth!
Peter, a disciple of Jesus, had this problem as well. Gotta love Peter, right? He was constantly putting his foot in his mouth. One of my favorite Peter bloopers, was when he was on the Mountain with Jesus and a few friends. While up there, Jesus’ appearance was changed. Radiant light – as bright as the sun – shown on His face. His clothing became “luminescent” and dazzling white! Scripture tells us that Jesus was ‘transformed” before their eyes. As if that wasn’t shocking enough, Moses and Elijah suddenly appeared and had a conversation with Jesus! (Matthew 17:1-3).
Imagine how freaked out you might have been had you been there. I mean, did Moses and Elijah look like ghosts? Peter, clearly shocked by the whole encounter, blurts out, “Lord, it’s so wonderful that we are all here together! If you want, I’ll construct three shrines, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” (Matthew 17:4 The Passion Translation). While Peter is still pitching his idea to Jesus, a voice booms out of heaven, “This is my dearly loved Son, the constant focus of my delight. Listen to him!” (Matthew 17:5 The Passion Translation). It’s almost as if God Himself is saying, “Peter! Shut up and listen!” We all need that rebuke from time to time – my conviction is that we miss many of life’s greatest blessings because we’re not listening.
How do we intentionally listen for the blessings of life?
Listen for the blessing God speaks over you. Just as God said that Jesus is the constant focus of His delight, YOU are the focus of God’s delight! Once you’ve been clothed in the garments of Christ’s righteousness you look as good to God as Jesus. I know, right? So shocking! Try this. Tomorrow, before you get out of bed, say to yourself, “God is delighted with me!” Then ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with praise. Thank and praise Jesus that you are clothed in His righteousness. Then open your Bible and read. Learn to search scripture listening for God to speak. Think of it as a treasure hunt. As you read, write down whatever you feel God is speaking to you. There are hundreds of blessings and promises in scripture for you. Make it a point to find them!
Listen for the blessing in interactions with people. Throughout your day as you engage in conversation, rather than planning what you’ll say next, listen. Make the other person your focus and listen for the blessing in the conversation. Maybe their story will inspire you. Listen to the prayers of others and experience the blessing. The other night my three-year-old grandson was praying and giving thanks for our food. He was so thankful he prayed for a long time and I was just blessed by listening. When you hug a friend or loved one, enjoy the blessing of that hug. If you cuddle an infant or a child, savor the moment and thank God for precious moments that become blessings in the grand scheme of your life.
Listen with your heart tuned for random blessings throughout your day. There are so many tiny blessings in your life and mine. Tune your ear to hear them. At dinner in the evening, Steve and I reflect back on our day. We keep a journal on our kitchen table. In that journal, we record the top three blessings of every day.
Friend, life can feel heavy, but it is also filled with amazing blessings. Listen for the blessings in each and every day and then give thanks. I guarantee it will change you into a more positive person.