Monday, August 13, 2018

Good Listeners, Wise Counselors

Many years ago, when I was feeling oh, so weary and lonely, I invited a visiting pastoral couple to my office for a chat. They stepped into my windowless little room and over peanut butter cookies and tea we talked about ministry and frustrations and dreams. They listened to me, asked a few probing questions, and bathed me in grace. Pots full of tough questions that had long simmered on the back burners of my mind began to find answers that day as a result of that brief encounter, and, for the first time in months, I felt refreshed. All because two people, gentle and wise, were willing to listen and point me to Jesus.

Recently I had a similar encounter. I had gone to see a pastor/friend about a concern that weighed heavily on my heart. Though I didn't know him well, I knew he was the one I wanted to talk to. As we talked it was like he heard things I didn't speak, things I didn't even know I felt. But he was right, you know. He listened to my words, and to my heart. His questions encouraged me to open my hands to God, and I left there refreshed.

I am so grateful for wise, discerning people who listen, both to the people around them and to God, and gently speak truth into our difficulties. I am grateful for the peace of God, and for the fresh breeze that blows through our hearts when he sets us free.

Are you weary? Frustrated? Lonely? Discouraged? Burned out? Weighed down by guilt? Broken hearted? Do questions swirl inside your soul that you can't articulate, much less resolve?

I pray that the Lord will speak his peace and grace into your heart today, giving your a freedom you can't even imagine. Maybe he will show up through the pages of Scripture or in the words of a devotional reading or on a podcast. Or maybe he'll use a friend who listens to your heart and lifts you to Jesus.

~ Ginger Kauffman

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