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Hard Stops

Have you ever seen a horse from this angle?

I have!

Do you know what causes it?

You guessed it: hard stops.

(Go ahead and chuckle. I know you want to.)

Sometimes, a horse has a mind all of his own. He might suddenly decide to stop . . . at full canter, no less.

Life has a way of doing that sometimes, too.

And that’s just where I landed this last week. Fortunately, I didn’t end up sprawled on my back with a snickering horse staring me in the face!

Life was set to full-throttle when, quite suddenly, the flurry of activity stopped and everything stilled. Kind of like a hydrant being tested by a fireman. With the spout wide-open, water gushing with force enough to roll a smart car, but abruptly ends when the valve is closed.

The things of life kept me hopping . . . until I got hit with a nasty virus. Everything stopped. And I spent the next five days at home . . . alone.

Some wise soul once observed, “Silent and listen are both spelled with the same letters.”

The Lord would prove this to be true as I submerged myself in His Word.

Plunged up-to-my-ears in silence, I whispered a prayer, “I’m listening, Lord.”

It took some tuning. Some concentrated effort. But then the blessing came.

If I were to share a word about hard-stops, here it is:

Hard-stops are perfect for prayer.

Number two?

Hard stops create opportunity to be in the Word, where we “hear” God speak.

And #3?

Hard-stops are made for listening.

Whenever you still to listen to the Lord, you usually learn a few things.

And boy did I ever!

I learned there is a difference between talking at God and speaking to Him. It should be more conversational and less tossing up a litany of wants.

I also learned to love the silence—because it's a holy time when you can truly listen.

Considering the constant buzz of activity, combined with all the noise around us, we would benefit greatly from intentionally planning hard-stops in our day before the Lord—to tune our hearts in the silence . . . to listen.


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