Cotton in My Ears
Last Monday, I stayed home from work. The day before, I stayed home from church and went to an urgent care medical clinic to get my week-long sore throat checked out. I was afraid it was something contagious, so I did not want to spread the germs with the congregation. I came home with a few medications and "orders" to take it easy for a little while. I diligently took the first medication, but I held off on taking the second one for a few days. My excuse was that it was more complicated on when it needed to be administered, and I kept messing up the schedule.
I did not realize how much I needed that second medication. My main symptom of a sore throat had gone away, but the other symptoms had not. I had an ear infection in my left ear, which affected my hearing. Although I thought I could hear just fine, whenever I was on the phone, I could not understand what people were saying. I did not think it was me, but just the person on the other line not speaking clearly or loudly enough. After taking the new medication for a couple of days, my hearing was restored! It was like cotton had been taken out of my ears!
Just as my denial that I needed any real medical attention for my ailments, I can do the same with how I follow Jesus. I thought that my symptoms would go away on their own, or with just a little help of some home remedies (drinking hot lemon tea, using Vaporub, etc.) I think that listening to a little bit of Christian music (especially my favorites), or just showing up to church once a week is enough. Those are not bad things, but they also are not the only things to do.
Do you have cotton in your ears too? Are you fully hearing what God tells you? My suggestion: open the Holy Bible and start reading. Before that, though, talk to God in prayer. Ask Him what He wants from you. Surrender your stubborn ways and be open to what He tells you. Listen to wise counsel, and not rely solely on your own self.
6 “With what shall I come before the Lord,
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
8 He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6:6-8 (English Standard Version)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)
Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.
1 Timothy 4:13 (ESV)