I've said it before and I'll say it again... Parenting is hard!
I'm over five years into this role of mother. I spend half of my time answering my kids' call without too much hesitation, and the other half wishing that the mom would finally answer those kids! Course then, I realize I'm the mom. Five years into it and you would think that I would no longer be surprised that I'm a parent! Still, every now and then, I hear little voices and it takes a few seconds to be jolted to the reality that I'm the one who is supposed to respond to those voices! "Oh wait... that's me!"
Related Post: Procrastination
Today, as I am writing this, I find myself in a struggle with my oldest that at times I wonder if it will ever improve. It is improving, but training is quite exhausting and time-consuming. What's the struggle? Listening, hearing, and doing. He hasn't figured out that to listen and understand when someone is talking, he needs to be doing more listening and less talking. It's been a few days but I've finally come to understand the best way to get through to him. I gently take him by the face, I look at him straight into his eyes, and I give him the instructions that I really need him to hear. It can be something as simple as "there is no tv today" to "I have told you to do this three times already, will you please tell me what you are supposed to be doing right now?" He hears the sounds, but he doesn't comprehend the words. He hears the sounds but is not moved to action. Slowly but surely, he's learning to calm down and slow down so that he can hear what is being spoken and behave accordingly.
Have you ever noticed that to listen to something, you have to pay attention not only to the words coming out of their mouth but to the tone it's spoken with? More than that, you also have to take in body language and facial cues. There's so much that goes into truly listening to someone. How many times do the words you're hearing not quite line up with what you're seeing? If you don't catch this and you respond inappropriately, the speaker knows that you aren't really listening to them. They know that you aren't really hearing them.
In these verses, we step into the story of Moses and the Burning Bush. Moses is being called by God to lead His people out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. Today we're not focused on Moses being called, but on God's motivation and what moved Him to action.
I have seen the affliction of my people. I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Remember how I pointed out that part of listening was looking at the visual cues? God saw what was going on. He saw how His people were being treated.
I have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me. He heard the sounds coming out of their mouths. He heard the words. He comprehended them. He listened.
I know their sufferings. How would He know their sufferings if he wasn't paying attention with His eyes and ears? He saw. He listened. He comprehended.
I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey... He acted. Not every problem we have requires the listener to act. A lot of times we just simply want to be heard, we don't necessarily want someone to fix our problems. The Israelites did want God to fix their problems. They wanted God to alleviate their suffering. How do we know the difference between when the speaker wants to only be heard or wants us to act? It's simple. We really listen to them. We really hear them.
God listened. He heard. He understood. He was moved to action! Listening is such an integral part of communication. Communication is the key to any successful relationship, romantic or otherwise. Do you want to communicate love to someone? Remember, Love says... I hear you!