“The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. The Lord God has opened my ear… The Lord God helps me… Behold, the Lord God helps me. Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.” “He who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.” Isaiah 50:4-5,7,9,10; John 10:2-4
The very early morning is silent, almost. The birds seem to awaken first, and I like to think “awaken the dawn” with their praise of another day, even one not yet visible. Cheery triplets in perfect pitch, coos from doves, chirps and tweets in harmony, their music awakens the senses and introduces a symphony of glad anticipation for more. The ear must be open to take it all in, the soul ready to absorb the beauty and respond. (Psalm 108:2)
What is my need today? When first I awake, there are choices, challenges, decisions before me that are unique to this moment and known by my God. I can prepare for both known and unknown by opening His word and my heart, and attuning my ear. It takes quiet to hear as those who are taught. It takes ears, too, that are open, (mouths closed), to receive, to hear the Shepherd call by name and instruct how to proceed, where to go, what to say. He knows not only my need, but the needs of others to whom He will send me, and He promises to be my help.
How often do I hear a parent speak for a child, or a sibling for a sibling, and wish the primary person would speak? Am I guilty of seeking the secondary voice, or being the first one? When void of direction, is there temptation to search out another, perhaps one I know would agree with me, or trust in my own smarts? Do I prefer someone else to speak for Him, or will I go directly to the Lord and His true word? Would I first ask my omniscient all-good God, my perfect Counselor? (John 14:26)
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” Psalm 32:8
Father, awaken all of me every new day that dawns. Open my ear, teach me, help me, guide me. Be my first voice. Relying on You, may I speak words that upbuild and sustain, and spread blessing and light wherever You lead. (Matthew 5:14; Romans 2:19; Philippians 2:14-16)