If it were left up to my simple reasoning, I would probably choose Jeremiah 33:3 as God’s personal private phone number. The verse says, “Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.” Jeremiah received this message while locked up in prison for being obedient to God. The doors of the prison were closed on Jeremiah around 626 to 586 years before Jesus. The purpose of the Book of Jeremiah was to warn Judah of its pending destruction, and to urge them to repent and submit to God.
Don’t misunderstand, just because it is a private number does not mean it is not a word of encouragement for all people. It is a personal private number just for you, but also for me! While we have advanced technology, and instant messaging through our smart devices, nothing compares to calling on God in prayer. When we pray from our heart, our prayer becomes a portal, a gateway, a direct line to God. Through prayer we are immediately connected to the power source, the creator of the universe, and with Him, all things become possible!
While our grandchildren live in an ever changing technology revolution, our young lives were not quite as revolutionary. This may help you understand; we only had one electric typewriter in our high school typing class. Does anyone remember chalky paper white out? That’s right; we didn’t even have liquid white out. Our fingers would get white chalk on them as we tried to position the strips of white paper over our mistakes.
Thank goodness for Bette Nesmith Graham who invented liquid white out and was first called, “mistake out.” While she invented it in 1956, this amazing device didn’t become mainstream until 1978. Evidently mainstream didn’t reach my school until after 1981, because my fingers remained chalky throughout high school. I guess it is possible the liquid white out could have beenstored with the rest of the electric typewriters?
Back in the hunt and peck days, the rhythmic sounds of the lone electric typewriter would almost lull me to sleep. The family phone hung on the wall, not carried in my purse, and the rotary dial had a rhythm all its own too. Your fingers would spin the dial and then twist the cord as you completed your conversation. We had phone numbers stored in our memory, and there seemed to be an endless supply. While the cord held you captive, it only made the kitchen counter a more popular location. I must admit there was a special excitement to receiving a call from your friends, and you never knew who it might be. Anticipation was much better than instant gratification!
If we walk down memory lane just one more generation, we discover a life far different from our own. It was the generation of imagination which brought us television, computers, and other new technology. For my Dad, and his brothers, growing up in Cincinnati during the real Depression, was a life full of daily adventures on the trains. The boys would play hide and seek on the stationary trains with the loser locked up behind the doors of the boxcars. On one occasion, my Dad had the misfortune to find himself imprisoned in the boxcar when the train began to roll. His brothers were frantically running alongside the train yelling for my Dad to get off. As the train rolled down the track to the next location, my Dad’s brothers walked home with tear-soaked faces, convinced they would never see my father again. I wonder who prayed harder, my Dad or his brothers.
Technology certainly would come in handy when imprisoned in a moving boxcar, or when your car is stalled on a dark deserted highway at night. But technology cannot give us what our spirit is longing for; an authentic relationship with the creator of the universe. God created the people who created and developed the amazing inventions and technology. When we call God, he hears us. Our call is a call to action; it is placing our Faith in God who we cannot see, but we trust and believe.
God always takes my call. He answers every time. Sometimes it is yes, here it is, but other times it is no, that’s not good for you. But then He may say, “Let’s take a look at this thing which is much better for you. It is something only your God could fathom or understand.” God always has our best interest in mind. God always directs us to his best, never allowing us to settle for something less. We make those “lesser than” choices ourselves. God is the great emancipator, freeing us from the worldly prisons of self-indulgence. He opens the doors to spiritual wellness with Him.
God is the ultimate mistake-out. When we call on Him, he forgets our mistakes and sends them as far as the east is from the west. His white out leaves no chalky residue, but instead fills your heart with His goodness. Isaiah 1:18 speaks truth into our lives, “Come now, let’s settle this, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.”
So, perhaps you are struggling for answers, direction, wisdom or insight. Maybe you are longing for purpose because you feel empty inside. Maybe you have a thousand Facebook friends but often feel lonely. Doesn’t it make sense to call the only One who can really deliver? Doesn’t it make sense to call the One who answers every call and has all the answers for your life? Theanswers for your questions can be found calling Jeremiah 33:3.
Theresa Rowe is the Founder of Shaped by Faith, Author of Guideposts’ Shaped by Faith, 10 Secrets to Strengthening Your Body and Soul, a Motivational Wellness Speaker, Health Coach and Host of Shaped by Faith Radio every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 8:00 am on 99.1 FM and 1490 AM WOMI. Listen: http://womiowensboro.com/listen-live/popup/
This Column appeared in the Owensboro Messenger Inquirer on April 8, 2017.