Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Telephone (07/17/08)
TITLE: Who's Calling This Time?
By Corinne Boback
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The baby is just asleep for her afternoon nap. Perhaps you can both sleep a while and be refreshed. But no, because as soon as you close your eyes, the telephone rings. It’s the head of the P.T.A., asking if you could bake some cookies for the parent-teacher conferences next week. Annoyed, you tell Mrs. Brown a hurried, frenzied “yes,” anxious to return to your nap.
It’s 9:00 a.m. Your husband is off to work, kids off to school. You just settle down for a quiet moment with your second cup of coffee. That moment is interrupted with the irritating ring of the phone. This time it is your good friend Madge. Now, you usually enjoy your friend’s conversations, but really wanted that quiet time this morning. Your disinterest in her conversation is evident, and her voice sounds distant and hurt as she hangs up.
Relaxing in front of the television with a good movie, that insistent device rings again. It is 10:00 p.m. Who would be calling at this hour? Answering on the sixth ring (hoping deep down the caller would give up after the fifth), you hear your brother’s voice from Texas. You ask if he is all right, since it is rather late. He assures you he is fine, at which time you tell him you are watching a movie that just started. Could he call back at a better time? Was that disappointment you heard in his voice as you were hanging up?
What if those telephone calls, at those inappropriate, inconvenient times, were all from Jesus? Would you interrupt whatever it was that you were doing to take His call?
That survey taker may be in need of a Savior. Perhaps if you spoke kindly to her, answering her questions, God would open the door to ask her an important question about whether or not she knows Jesus and His love. Perhaps Jesus wanted to see if you would be willing to take the time for a woman you’ve never even met, that she may hear His story.
Mrs. Brown does a wonderful job with the P.T.A. But did you know she just lost her mother to cancer? Did you take time to really hear her voice, which sounded as if she had been crying? Had you taken the time, what a blessed experience it would have been to minister to her pain with the love of the Lord. Again, was Jesus watching to see if you would take time to minister to one of His hurting children?
Your friend Madge was excited to tell you that her husband Jim got the job she had asked you to pray about. She was so happy, and wanted to rejoice in how God answers prayer. Was your cup of coffee and moment of peace and quiet more important than hearing a heart of gratitude for what God had done? Jesus may have just wanted to know if praising Him with another for answered prayer was more important than that cup of coffee and moment of silence.
And your brother’s call late at night, so unlike him at such an odd hour. Was there a favor he needed of you, but was afraid to ask because you were so abrupt? Was that movie really more important than listening to his need? Was the disappointment you heard in his voice perhaps because he knew there was only a brief window of opportunity for you to help? Jesus wanted to see if you were willing to give your time to hear and fulfill the need of another of His children.
Ringing telephones can be divine appointments for us. God says to be instant in season and out of season, and to be ready to give an answer to all men. Nothing is a mistake in His Kingdom, not even a telephone call.
May His children answer those calls with a smile, a listening ear, and a tender heart. May we treat each caller as though it were Jesus on the line, for in essence, it truly is!
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