“This is why Katie feels like no one listens to her,” Husband politely explained as steam came out of my ears.
I had answered the question no less than 5 times in an hour – and the person that was asking the question and wasn’t listening was sitting close enough to touch for every single answer.
And Husband had heard me chant, “This is why I feel like no one listens to me!” at least 6.7 million times in recent weeks and was picking up on what made me feel that way.
Simply put: I feel that way WHEN NO ONE LISTENS TO ME.
When I have to repeat myself half a dozen times.
When I have to answer the same question ad nauseam because no one listened to my answer the first time.
Does it sound like I’m ranting? I’m sorry – I am. But I’m going somewhere, promise.
Moses. Sweet, patient Moses.
I feel like I know his story better than most. It is an account I read over and over because I find myself relating to Moses more often than not. In the midst of the familiar details – the Burning Bush, the “Let my people go!” and the plagues and the Red Seas parting – one detail really struck me recently though, a detail I had never noticed before.
In Exodus 3 Moses encounters a Burning Bush and the Lord lays out for Moses what exactly He has planned for him to do.
“Now come, and I will send you to Pharaoh so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt.” (Verse 10)
Moses responds like any sane person would – a mess of nerves and uncertainty.
So God gives Moses a pep talk in Exodus 4. He lays out a plan for Moses. He tells him what to say and then gives him signs to show them that Pharaoh might believe him. And then in verse 8 and 9, God says this: “If they will not listen to you or believe you when they are shown the first thing, they may believe when this is shown to them. But they might not believe even these two things or listen to what you say.”
They might not believe you or listen to you, even then.
It had never occurred to me that beating my head against a brick wall might be a God-ordained process. But I think that is what God is telling Moses. “Say it, say it again. Show them. Show them again. Say it, say it again. Go back and say it again… And they still aren’t going to listen to you. Say it again, anyway.”
How many times does Moses have to tell Pharaoh? At least 10.
My tendency is to stop. To say it once, and then give up. I feel unheard, or I actually am unheard, or not even listened too, but I tried, so I call it a day.
I think I must have said it wrong, or maybe wasn’t supposed to say it at all. I must have misunderstood or misspoke or just gone and ruined the whole thing because saying it more than once couldn’t possibly be the plan.
Parenting is the obvious example of saying something over and over and over and over. But it really, it happens in all my relationships. Marriage. Friendships. Discipleship. I said it once, wasn’t once enough?
I think Moses is showing me that maybe it isn’t. That saying it over and over and over and over might be exactly what the Lord is asking of me. Saying it and then showing them, and then saying it again, and then coming back and saying it again – might be just what the Lord would have me to do.
It occurs to me that The Lord did not call Moses to get a response out of Pharaoh. He did not make Pharaoh Moses’s responsibility. He made Moses’ responsibility obedience. To say it, to say it again, to say it again and to keep saying it until the Lord said “enough.”
Moses was not called to Pharaoh’s response. Moses was called to use His words like the Lord told him too.
And you know, the fact that no one listening really is not my problem. My only concern should be my obedience to what the Lord has asked me to say and how He has asked me to say it. And saying it a million times or just once, that might not be my concern either.
After all, if Moses has taught me anything today, it’s that beating my head against a brick wall just might be a God ordained process.