Jesus once took Peter, James and John up on a high mountain alone. While they were there, His appearance changed, and His clothing became shining white, whiter than any person could make them. Then, Elijah and Moses appeared and talked with Jesus. Peter told Jesus that he wanted to make three tents – one for Jesus, one for Moses, and one for Elijah. The Bible tells us that Peter didn’t know what to say, because he and the others were so frightened. Then a cloud came and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to Him!” (Mark 9)
When the voice from the cloud said to listen, it seems almost in direct response to Peter’s remarks. It wasn’t a time to speak or to act, but a time to worship and to listen. How many times do we miss the most important things, because we do not listen?
It’s interesting how people don’t like being at a loss for words. Awkward silences wouldn’t be so awkward if so many of us didn’t feel a need to speak. When we think we know the appropriate words to say in any situation, we somehow feel more in control; but, how many times have we spoken words in haste, later wishing we could recall those words?
Proverbs 10:19 says that if you talk a lot, you are sure to sin; if you are wise, you will keep quiet. Words spoken in haste are often words that wound. We should be slow to speak and quick to listen. When we are angry, upset or confused is not the time to speak. It is the time to wait upon the Lord to renew our strength. When we take time to think and pray, we often realize that our initial reaction was not wise. If we hold our tongues and wait, we allow ourselves time to sort through what is only our human, emotional response and what is God’s truth about the situation.
Building tents in honor of Jesus, Elijah and Moses might not be a bad thing in itself, but we must not let good deeds distract us from hearing God speak. If building the tents expends effort that God wanted us to use in a different way, it is not productive. We should allow time for our hearts and minds to absorb and process what God is trying to tell us.
Often we speculate about people and circumstances in our lives, and come to erroneous conclusions. Wrong conclusions can cause us to make decisions that are based on lies, and do more harm than good. We don’t always need to speak, act or fix everything. God can use us much more effectively if we are willing to wait. Acting in our own strength and wisdom is futile; but, if God is for us, who can be against us? Jesus is God’s Son, whom He loves. Let’s take the time to really listen to Him!
Why Won’t You Listen?
by Jeanne M. Smith
I had so many things I wanted to say, but you always seemed to look the other way
In search of something of more value to you, than the words in my heart that were just for you.
So much of myself is seeking for you, for fellowship, comfort, and to share tough times, too.
But, I cannot give what you will not take, and it seems it might be already too late.
There was something in you that I thought understood,
That sought something dearer and deeper than most ever would.
But, your eyes are vacant and your smile is tight. Your eyes on a goal that you think is just right.
You keep looking right through me to something that might
Fill the empty longing you have inside
That stretches for miles, an eternity wide.