For the people’s heart has become calloused;
They hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
here with their ears,
understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them. Matthew 13:15
I have set a new goal for myself to read my bible everyday. I don’t have a goal of how many pages I’ll read or a wild idea of reading the bible in one year.I just picked a starting point, read, pray and try to understand what God is saying in his teaching. Sometimes I only read one or two passages because that’s how long it takes me to understand what I am reading. The other night I came across the passage above in the book of Matthew. I read it a few times because I felt there was something there that I was needing to understand, first off the word “calloused” I had to google it I had no idea what it meant,it means hardened if you are wondering. I find myself googling a lot of words out of the bible…hey don’t judge me; I’m learning haha!
In a college course I took my instructor taught one 4 hour class on listening, my first thought… I’m paying like $600 for this class and you’re teaching me about listening. REALLY. However it turned out to be an eye-opening lesson. She explained to us the difference between the natural act of hearing and the physical act of listening. Hearing with our ears just happens without thinking it takes little to no effort for us to hear, but it takes an actual physical act of concentrating on one fixed sound to listen and most importantly understand. For example right now Alvin and the Chipmunks is on in the background I can hear it but I’m not actually listening my back is turned to the TV and I have no idea what is actually happening on the show. I call it my mom ears. Ready for a deep thought…we do not actually listen until we understand what we are hearing.
I believe that is what God is speaking about in this verse. Our hearts have become so calloused 😉 (see look at me using smart words) that we often miss out on God’s healing because we are so closed off to his words. I have a relationship in my life that has been a struggle for me. For many years God was telling me to soften my heart and pray for this person. Yeah I’ll pray alright I pray a giant rock falls on their head from the sky. But I don’t think that was the prayer God was looking for. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I was actually able to start praying for this individual. I still choke at times but I know that God is working in me. There is a verse from a song by Tenth Avenue North that really opened my closed eyes in this relationship.
“Oh father give me grace to forgive them, for I feel like the one losing”
My eyes were closed, my ears were not listening, my heart was turned away and I was not being healed. My actions not only affected me but the ones I love most. I was bitter towards this person and would grow so anxious when I had to see them that I would physically feel ill. I made a choice, I was no longer going to live this way and I knew with my whole heart that God and God only could heal this relationship to his will. I opened my eyes and began listening with my ears, I did what was put on my heart and each encounter has become better than the last.
I know that God’s work is not done as I still at times hold onto anger, it’s a long process to let go of the anger but each small step forward is better than standing still. I am a strong-willed person and I wasn’t going to let myself stand still any longer.
I think this verse from Matthew can apply to so many situations in our lives both big and small. What is an area in your life that you have your eyes and ears closed too? If you can’t think of at least 3 right off the top of your head you must have you eyes super glued shut!
It’s scary I know but you are the only one in control of your actions. I pleading you to please take the leap of faith so you too can understand with your hearts and be healed. I’m living breathing proof that it’s worth it!