Do You Hear What I Hear?

My wife and I had the exciting privilege in July of 2015 to visit the House of the Virgin Mary in Izmir, better known to us as ancient Ephesus, Turkey.

Folklore has this house as the place where the Apostle John, following Jesus’ last words on the cross, took Jesus’ mother Mary to escape persecution. Legend places Mary there where she with John lived out their final days.

Outside the house, on the path back to the parking lot, was this wall with a place to place your prayer slip of paper. Many hundreds of thousands of people, perhaps millions over the years, took this opportunity to leave a request in hopes of receiving an answer, a blessing to their innermost prayer.

A couple of thousand years earlier, when Jesus was teaching, in one of his controversial moments, a woman called out of the crowd, “Your mom is so blessed to have you!” (Loosely paraphrased) In the cadence of the moment, Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.” (Luke 11:28 NLT)

I think we’ve all had them, you know, the idea in our head that we can almost hear. It may have come in the voice of our parents, a teacher, a loved mentor. You may have caught yourself saying, “It was almost audible.”

What if God wants to use that medium to bless you?

Do you hear what I hear?

“But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”

House of the Virgin Mary in Izmir, Turkey
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Spiritual Parallel


When it comes to life and faith, which is more important, ‘For’ or ‘In’? Huh?

Both of these words carry a huge impact with regards to how you process your life and your faith.

The ‘For’ part:

It occurs to me that we need the executive level provision. What do I mean? We need a provision, a place, an opportunity made available. We need a pre-arranged set of circumstances to facilitate our next step.

Let me explain.

I have spent my last couple of weeks in Camp. Because of the “Beast,” the Fort McMurray Fire, my work has been provided and dispatched from a Camp setting. The camp exists because of those who have initially set it up; by those who manage its facilities, and the company I work for who has accessed the facilities and finally whoever pays the bill, fortunately not me.

I have full access to the entire facility, within the rules of its use. It is actually quite amazing; the food; the room where I can have the quiet to write a piece like this and where I can peacefully sleep; all the amenities. All of this provision is ‘For’ me and a few thousand others.

The “In” part:

How I use the provided facilities is entirely up to me. I can choose to eat at the times provided, the food has been fantastic, or not. My choice. I can use the Common Room for recreation or not. I can walk/run the track or play basketball or badminton in the gymnasium. Or, I can decline.

For some, Camp is just a place to be, to endure for the next period of time. I have chosen differently.

I decided that if I have to be away from family and my regular life, if I have to be displaced by the fire, then why not make it pay?

I have been daily hitting the gym and work out area. I have been eating well and healthy and walking upwards of 10k a day. Really.

What have I done? I have chosen to apply, to use, to leverage what has been provided ‘For’ me and make it work ‘In’ me. My choice.

The spiritual parallel:

There has been a provision made for everyone. God has provided, an executive decision, for all through Christ.

There you have it; it is there for you with all of its amenities.

So, how will you apply it? Your choice.

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