Staying Connected

Staying Connected

Nehemiah 9:17b and 19a “but you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in love. Therefore, you did not desert them…. Because of your great compassion you did not abandon them.

The knock-on our front door jolted my husband and me to our feet. The force to which it was applied exceeded the knock of a casual visitor. We looked at each other in wonder as we headed to the door.

As we allowed the single gentleman inside, his words began to flow. Calling us both by name I wondered who is this stranger? After being gone for five years I did not recall how he fit into our lives. 

He poured out his grievances to my husband standing beside me. I could feel my defenses heightening. I wondered, “Who are you and how dare you come through our door on the beautiful Sunday morning and blast us like this?” Fortunately, I was able to listen and when he took a breath I managed to fit in, “May I ask your name?”

Taking a deep breath, he half smiled and identified the job Lanny had done for him over five years ago. His agitation was evident by the long list of perceived failures on my husbands’ part. He spared no words. His perceived, failed expectations and hardships poured out. 

We both stood in disbelief. Was he referencing a job done over five years ago and if so, why were we just now hearing about it?

He began to pour out his past five years of infirmities. As we listened Jesus filled my heart with compassion. Here was a hurting man. 

We were able to assure him we would come and look at his nonfunctioning lights but most of all we were able to listen and invite Jesus to be with us. 

As we joined hands we prayed for healing. We thanked Jesus for bringing this man into our lives again. As we said goodbye, we sensed the presence of Jesus. He was right there ministering to us all. 

Jesus wants us to invite Him into every encounter. He longs to be involved in every aspect of our life. 

Joyful Journey Listening to Immanuel by E. James Wilder, Anna Kang, John Loppnow and Sungshim Loppnow is a valuable tool as we learn to commune with Immanuel. Jesus is always present in every moment of our lives. Gaining an awareness of His presence restores our peace

Joyful Journey enables us to connect with Jesus through:

  1. Interactive gratitude
  2. Writing our impressions-thought rhyming with God
  3. Reading our journal aloud.

As we learn to listen and interact with Jesus, He brings peace to every stormy relationship. Developing an interactive relationship with Him allows us to hear what He hears.

We may be shocked by who shows up at our door, but Jesus is never caught by surprise. He repels every accusation and loves the unlovely. He enables us to see others through His cross.

A friend of mine wrote a small, priceless book titled Emotional Intelligence in the Work Place: An Introduction. Dietrick Desmarais describes the powerful tool of listening. He says, “It is natural for us to think we are okay listeners, but we must know that mere okay listening isn’t actually real listening. Listening-the very intentional, sincere, present, interested, curious kind of listening – is a superpower when it comes to emotional quotient. We listen with our eyes – not just our ears. 

Dietrick continues, “When we really listen to a person, they feel validated, comforted and understood. It creates the sense of being glad together.

Proverbs 20:5 ASV Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; But a man of understanding will draw it out.

How are we doing listening to Jesus? Are we able to hear others? What can we do or stop doing today to make time to listen with our eyes – not just our ears?

6 thoughts on “Staying Connected

  1. I truly enjoy your healing reflections. You write beautifully!! Thank you for helping me make connections with Christ. Plus think of life in a more peaceful way.

    1. Barbara, your words are of great encouragement to me. Thank you for taking the time to read and to join the conversation. Love and blessings to you, my friend.

  2. Thank you Joanna for reminding me that Jesus wants to be a part of every encounter, the joyful and the difficult times. His presence heals!

    1. You are so right, Janice. I love how you put it, “His presence heals!” We are so thankful for all the joyful times we have shared with you and your beautiful family.

  3. Jesus wants us to heed the warning He inspired in Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence”. What a blessing that you paused for Holy Spirit’s leading so you could listen to the man, minister and pray for Him. Too often it is easy to miss that Leading and shun an individual we are meant to minister to. As we mature in Christ and learn not to shun those individuals we can be such valuable tools for the Lord as you and Lanny are Joanna! Stay blessed, covered and protected by Him.

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