As I read in Jeremiah this morning I read chapter 5 where God is discussing the destruction of Jerusalem as the people have been taken over by idolatry and basically everything outside of God. In 5:21 it reads “Hear this, you foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear”. Again just a little bit later in 6:10 it states “To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed so they cannot hear. The word of the Lord is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it”.
When I read that I immediately jumped back to where I was just 2-3 years ago. Through watching some friends do what we thought at the time was ridiculous, irresponsible, and crazy (they uprooted and moved their family to South Africa for missions) I began to feel like a 4 year old asking a million questions that all started with "what" or the dreaded "why". Why would they do this? What kind of peace do you have to feel to make this call? What do you hear from God that allows any of that to make sense? What if God has been calling me to do something bold in my life and I have no clue what His voice sounds like? That last question was the catalyst for me. I knew I was not in the place I needed in order to be ready, willing or simply even able to hear a call from God. I can tell you as well that I NEVER expected Him to say anything to the Elder’s about overseas missions. Wasn’t expecting it related to a short term trip (wrong on that one) and it was inconceivable that it could be around anything long term (strike two).
This weekend as I was talking with my friend I asked her to walk me through what a typical patient visit would be for an audiologist. What I really was curious about was simply the ear cleaning piece. I wanted to know what role she had to play in cleaning out the ear of someone else and the horror stories that certainly came from that. As she talked through it I just couldn’t stop visualizing her sitting there with a patient and using an otoscope (had to look that up) and seeing up close and personal a bunch of ear junk. Seeing her use some small stick to scrape out grossness from their ear. Much to my surprise she spoke very plainly about that task and I almost sensed that while gross she was OK with it. We all have ear junk and we all need it cleaned out regularly.
After reading the verses this morning and thinking back on this conversation with my friend, I couldn’t help but visualize God sitting next to me and picking out the junk that I had in there blocking the sound of His voice from getting through. “Hey, Tate, this might hurt a little bit, but looks like you have a massive wad of selfishness caught in there. Let me get that out”. Or “Oh wow, no wonder you couldn’t hear anything, looks like this left ear is blocked by a big thing of materialism.” Just picture that. We all have plenty of distractions and things that block the sound of God in our lives. We cram them in our ears and smear them on our faces so they blur our senses. I wish we could all do one big cleaning and be done with it, but unfortunately we all carry sin in our lives. The junk is going to accumulate again from time to time. Just like my friend and her patient’s we just need to make sure we are sitting down with God regularly so He can give us a good cleaning.