When God speaks and the reception isn’t clear

miscommunication image

A few months ago, my oldest daughter Samara was just getting over some sickness and had finally gained somewhat of an appetite back. This particular morning I asked her if she wanted oatmeal with her waffle. Like I said, she had been sick and I was just trying to get whatever food into her body that she would eat. Waffles and oatmeal were currently on the “I’ll eat at every meal if I can” list (truthfully, I think they still are).

Her response to me was, “no, I want to eat my oatmeal with a spoon.”

Well, I want you to eat your oatmeal with a spoon too, kiddo, glad we’re on the same page…

“I know,” I said. “I’m asking if you want both oatmeal and a waffle.”

“No. I want honey and cinnamon on my waffle.”

We clearly weren’t getting anywhere. I asked Samara in probably five different formats before I finally got to: “Do you want a waffle AND oatmeal?”

She answered with a resounding, “YES!”

Just like the the back and forth conversation with my four-year-old, there are so many times when God is speaking to us but we aren’t getting clear reception. We may think we hear something, but miss the intent or we may get frustrated because it feels like it’s so intermittent, we give up listening. Sometimes, it’s just not what we want to hear so we put on our headphones to block it out and miss when God may be offering a different blessing (or in the case with Samara, two blessings).

“But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, so that

‘Seeing they may see and not perceive,
And hearing they may hear and not understand;
Lest they should turn,
And their sins be forgiven them.’”

And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?

 Also He said to them, “Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lampstand? For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.’” (Mark 4:10-13, 20-23, NKJV)

When Samara and I were having a misunderstanding, it wasn’t because I was trying to withhold something from her. In fact, quite the opposite—I was trying to give her more. Jesus explained the parables to the disciples because they asked, not because they were any brighter than the others who had heard.

So rather than getting frustrated because you aren’t hearing from God clearly, lean in a little more and ask for clarification. In my experience, God is more than willing to rephrase His message to us until we get it.

One Response to “When God speaks and the reception isn’t clear

  • I agree completely! Well said/written!