But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. Matthew 13:16
Do you remember the words to the children’s hymn, “Be careful little eyes what you see?” and “Oh, be careful little ears what you hear.” It goes on to say ” ’cause the Father up above is looking down in love.” God sees all, and hears all. He sees our times of gladness and times of pain. He hears our laughter but also the silent sobs of our hearts that are too painful to surface. He is never deafened to our cries, our pleas and our praises.
I, however, do not always return the favor. Have you ever driven in the car for so long the hum of the road plugs up your ears with white noise? The swishing of the cars as they pass and the low drone of the tires on the road become all you can hear. Everything else becomes muffled. Even after you stop traveling, it takes a few moments to get that cotton out of your ears so you can hear clearly again. Sometimes the din of my life fills my ears so I have a hard time hearing Him, or others in my path. My own inner voice drowns out what I should be hearing. I can’t hear other people’s peels of laughter or sobs of sorrow.
It is also possible to look and not see. You eyes are taking in all around you, but your brain is not recording the images because it is too busy concentrating on something else. Ask any four people to look at the same event happening and they will remember different things. Each has a unique focus. They see through filtered influences. Rarely will they all have seen the whole picture in the exact same way.
No wonder we do not see all of God’s blessings and lessons. No wonder we miss the point until the Holy Spirit breaks through and helps us to refocus. No wonder we do not hear His still, small voice. Until He clears the din of our own little world and all its demands from our ears, we find it hard to hear Him. Just as the people did when Jesus walked on this earth. They saw, but didn’t see, they listened but didn’t really hear. Are we so different?
Today, we can be surrounded by Scripture. It can be downloaded to our phones each day, pop up on our computer screens, appear in devotionals we get in monthly booklets, be listened to on the radio as we drive or work. We hear and read it in Church. We can be surrounded by the Word, more than every before in the history of the world. Yet, we can be as deaf and blind as the beggars by the sides of the road in first century Judea.
Paul, in his travels, wrote back to the people he had come to know. He prayed they would continue to hear and understand what he had preached in Jesus’ name. He knew. He had literally been blind to what he had been doing. Then, he heard Jesus call to him. Let us take what he prayed for his flocks and pray it for ourselves, and the others God places in our lives.
And so, from the day we heard,we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. . . Colossians 1:9
Then we’ll be able to see and hear what the Father looking down in love wants us to, and be filled with the knowledge of His presence. Maybe then, we’ll start to get it, just as the disciples, the flocks of Paul and countless others down through the centuries. Blessed are those who see and hear.