First Congregational Church Winter Park
“Stop And Listen”
Joshua spoke to the Lord; and he said in the sight of Israel, “Sun, stand still at Gibeon, and Moon, in the valley of Aijalon.” And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped. . . . There has been no day like it before or since, when the Lord heeded a human voice; for the Lord fought for Israel. - Joshua 10:12–14
This a pretty amazing story. In order to win a military victory, Joshua asks God to slow down Time itself. To the amazement of the reader of this story, God does just that.
What is truly remarkable about this story isn’t the part about the sun standing still and the moon stopping its orbit. What is remarkable is that God listens to Joshua’s request and grants it. And this is a pretty big request; asking the sun to stand still and the moon to stop.
Now, this isn’t to say that God grants every request. Most of us know that simply isn’t the way God works. God isn’t a Jeanie that grants wishes. But God does indeed listen, and always responds. Sometimes that response is what we are seeking or hoping for. Sometimes, God’s response isn’t what we might want or what we hoped for, yet that is not for us to decide or demand.
The challenge of this story from Joshua is not to focus so much on God doing what Joshua asked, it is rather to realize that God takes the time to stop and listen. God, in all of God’s greatness, takes the time to stop and listen to us. Sometimes, God acts in ways that we celebrate. Sometimes, in ways that challenge our hearts and minds. But at all times, no matter what the response, God first stops and listens.
How often do we truly do that for one another, and how might the world be a different place if we did?
Still Listening God, thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to stop and listen to us when we need to talk with you or ask you something. Help us to be better about doing that ourselves.