I don’t know the man who left a voice mail. It could have been God. The message said, “… you called me. It was good to hear from you. I’m trying to call. I love you and am doing good. I’ll try again later.” I wasn’t able to understand what he said when he introduced himself, but it sounded like he said it was a pastor. The number associates with Gainesville, but it is the kind of message that God tries to send His children.
I have replayed the message a few times, imagining the call being directly from God because it provides me a few insights and reminders. It also provides me comfort. As in the caller’s message, God…
- Acknowledges when we call out to our Father. “In those days when you pray, I will listen.” Jeremiah 29:12 God listens to us when we pray. Many are the scriptural references and encouragements to pray, how to pray and how prayer is answered. His answers likely won’t be in a voicemail message, but we know and can trust that he is listening and His answers will come in His time, not ours. God, the creator of the incredible universe of a magnitude that is incomprehensible to us, knows our name. He knows the number of hairs on our head. He listens to us.
- Likes hearing from his children. “But he listened! He heard my prayer! He paid attention to it! Blessed be God who didn’t turn away when I was praying, and didn’t refuse me his kindness and love.” Psalm 66:19-20 What greater gift to give in return for someone sharing with us? Our love. We share with God by praying and he responds by listening and giving unceasingly his love and kindness.
- Always tries to reach us; the issue is whether we are listening. “And after the earthquake, there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire, there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his scarf and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And a voice said, “Why are you here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:12-13 God speaks to us in quiet times, with whispers. Whispers are a language of love, not overpowering or commanding, but calling us to closer relationship with God and in service to Him.
- Loves us and all is always well with and through our Father. He does good, and we are agents on Earth of that good. “If Timothy comes make him feel at home, for he is doing the Lord’s work just as I am.” 1 Corinthians 16:10 We are the body, each of us serving special roles in God’s work on Earth that no one else can do. We are all called to our Lord’s work, and that work is of love.
- Will never give up on reaching us. “So Jesus used this illustration: “If you had a hundred sheep and one of them strayed away and was lost in the wilderness, wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine others to go and search for the lost one until you found it? 5 And then you would joyfully carry it home on your shoulders. 6 When you arrived you would call together your friends and neighbors to rejoice with you because your lost sheep was found.” Luke 15:4–6 Ultimately, we all are lost at some time or another. God never stops looking for us, reaching out to us. He reminds us daily, if we pay attention, that He is calling us back…to Him.
The Florida man’s message will forever remain on my phone. I will listen to the message of his inadvertent call from time to time when I need a reminder of the truths above.