God Who Hears
"The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. God heard their groaning, and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob." (Exodus 2:23, 24 NIV)
At various times, in my roles as wife and mom, I've asked my family, "Did you hear what I said?"
You understand, of course, that I am not asking my (greatly cherished) husband and children, "Was the sound of my voice received by your auditory receptors?" Rather, I am asking, "Did your brain comprehend what my voice said and, more importantly, will you be acting upon it?"
Thank goodness the God who hears is also the God who acts.
God heard Ishmael crying after he and his mother, Hagar, were sent away from Abraham and Sarah...and assured Hagar that God would make her son into a great nation (Genesis 21).
God heard the groaning of the Israelite slaves...and called Moses to be the unlikely spokesperson of His rescue plan (Exodus 2).
God heard David's cry from the pit...and gave him a firm place to stand and a new song to sing (Psalm 40).
And God heard the groans of the prisoners condemned to death (that's you and me and all people, my friends)...and prepared to send the One who would proclaim freedom for the captives and release for the prisoners (Psalm 103, Isaiah 61).
I so appreciate the winsome way Sally Lloyd-Jones portrays the God who hears in Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing:
"Do you sometimes think you can't bother God? That maybe he's too busy to hear from you? that what you're asking is too small to trouble him with? Jesus said God wants us to come to him, like a child comes to her daddy. When we're afraid. When we're worried. If we're happy. If we're sad. However we feel. Some people think God doesn't like to be troubled with us asking him things all the time. But do you know the way to trouble him? By not coming at all."
(Sally Lloyd-Jones, Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing, "Are We Troubling God?")