A Good Listener

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust…But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him.  Psalm 103:13-14 & 17a

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It’s so easy to complain about things—other people, the way I look, the way I feel, the weather, my job—whatever. But you know what? Sheba doesn’t care. For one thing, she’s now deaf; but even when she could hear clearly it never mattered. She’s always loved me unconditionally, even when she was the one I complained about.

I think God listens much like Sheba used to listen—she’d sit and stare into my eyes while I talked to her—for that matter, she still does even though she can’t hear a word I say. God sits and stares into my heart and soul as I pour out my complaints—he compassionately cares for me anyway. Even if he’s the target of my grumbling and complaining heart, his love never wavers, and there’s nothing I can say that will sway his love and attention away from me. But perhaps sometimes he simply allows some of my complaints to fall on “deaf ears” simply because they’re so empty and meaningless—always hearing me certainly, but ignoring my pettiness because he knows my weaknesses and continuing to love me unconditionally.


Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need…He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  Hebrews 4:16 & Psalm 91:1


Sheba is completely at home in my presence; comfortable and trusting, unafraid of approaching me at any time of the day or night because she knows that she is loved and she will not be turned away. She also knows that she belongs here and that certain rights and privileges are hers. With her own pillow in just about every room of our home, she follows me from room to room so she can rest wherever I am; content, as long as she has me in sight.

Oh that I would be as comfortable in God’s presence—following his lead from one place in life to another, unafraid as long as I’m in his presence. Oh that I would come boldly before him at any time, knowing that I’m loved and that I’m an heir to his kingdom. Oh that I would be content just to rest in him, watching and waiting patiently for his next move.

On A Leash

I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.  I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.  Psalm 119: 10-11


Sheba loves her collar and her leash.  After a bath, she gets very excited about having her collar replaced.  Why?  I don’t know.  But the leash I do understand—that means she gets to go out for a walk, and there’s nothing she loves more.  When she was younger she’d run away if she escaped without a leash, carelessly darting out in the street or playing hide and seek in a neighbor’s yard, daring us to chase her.  But maybe somewhere along the line she’s learned that it’s for her protection, because now—even without the leash—she stays close by, not wanting to stray too far from her master.

What a lesson for me! How I cherish my “leash”—the never changing Word of God. The more time I spend with it, the more I never want to be away from it, for God’s Word is where I go for comfort and direction when I’m tired or frustrated, alone or afraid.  Full of promises of God’s love that will forever amaze me; its truths pull me away from harmful temptations and give me strength to stand in the face of illness or loss, disappointment or persecution.

I love the description of “my leash” in The Message version of Hebrews 4:12-13,:

God means what he says. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey.

Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what. It draws me ever closer to my Master—and like Sheba, I never want to stray too far.


I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs. Luke 11:8


When Sheba is hungry she will not leave me alone.  She follows on my heels, rubs her little body up against my feet or legs over and over (like a cat), and becomes such a pest that I finally give in and feed her, whether it’s time for dinner or not.

Shouldn’t I be like that with God?  Such a pest—so hungry for his truth and his love that I just won’t leave him alone—constantly pursuing him in prayer for more of his truth to be revealed to me—to be always hungry and thirsty for his righteousness.

Just as I’m committed to feeding Sheba, God has promised to satisfy my desire for him; I will not go hungry. Jesus himself promised, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6