Phone calls! I don’t like them! I don’t even know why I don’t like them because I do like talking to people. I remember in the “early days” I didn’t like them because I actually had to stay in one place to talk – a bit limiting for me if I was cleaning, cooking, caretaking the kids, or crafting. Confinement was not my best friend.
And Yes! I WAS alive when our phones were attached to cords attached to the wall. Those of you from that era – Remember the freedom experienced with desk phones so we could attach an even longer cord to the wall and move our phones around the room? But then, there was always the risk of tripping people, not to mention the squiggly cord attached to the handset which always seemed in need of untangling, cleaning, or was so stretched out from pulling it was always in the way. Wow! The trouble we went through just to talk on the phone!
Some of you reading this have no idea what I’m talking about. You will need to ask someone fifty years old or up and they will help you out! Anyway, what freedom came to phone conversations when “cordless” phones were invented and we could move about a bit easier without being strangled by the phone cord. Of course, we had to stay a safe distance from the receiver to keep up the connection. How many thousands of times did I say “Can you hear me?” as the crackling got louder because I moved too far away from the receiver. Oh, that makes me laugh!
I remember shopping for new cordless phones, as we tried to rationalize spending more money to get a better phone which would allow us to move even further away from the receiver to talk on the phone. You mean I could even GO OUTSIDE and still talk to people on the phone? That was amazing! You young people think I’m crazy but let me tell you, these were monumental strides in communication!
The next thing I remember was car phones! I was super impressed by anyone who had the money and prestigious job to have a car phone. I was in awe of such progress but they were way above our pay grade.
And then…our first cell phones. Oh, how my husband and I thought they were amazing yet SO unnecessary. We wouldn’t even get them for ourselves so a friend set us up with them. (This is interesting since our kids still need to go with to set us up with our new “smart” phones. Guess we have never grown up.)
And today? Our cell phones seem every bit an appendage to our bodies as they are for young people. And even though my cell phone is rarely left behind, I still don’t like talking on the phone, and I still don’t know why because I do like talking to people and I still WILL talk on the phone, even for long periods of time. I have concluded it is just not my “communication of choice”.
There is something about actually CALLING people that seems to paralyze me and so I let people call me! And, by the way, whoever invented “caller id” is a genius! How awesome is it to know who is calling and have the freedom to answer or not? I don’t like, and never use the “ignore” button because it’s not nice to ignore people. But I often look to see who is calling and then don’t answer it. Usually it’s because I can’t talk at that moment, but yes, I admit, sometimes I just don’t want to talk on the phone. Is that bad? Isn’t that why someone else invented “voicemail”? So we can get the message without having to talk?
This gives birth to one of my pet peeves. People who call and refuse to leave a message! Why did you call if you didn’t have something to say? Even if it was just to “chat” then say HELLO on my voicemail – don’t just hang up! Haha! Then my next pet peeve – I call someone, they don’t answer (I’m usually okay with that), so I leave a voicemail and they call me back and say “What’s up?” My response is usually, “What do you mean what’s up? I left you a voicemail. Listen to it and call me back.” Haha again?
Well, the other day my husband and I were talking about phone calls, and it turns out we both have the same pet peeve (my third one and counting when it comes to talking on the phone). We never understand why people call and leave this message. “Call me.” What? You called us, we aren’t going to call you just for the sake of calling you. Tell us what you called for – give us a reason to call you back.
Or they say, “Call me. We need to talk.” Or “Call me. There is something on my heart that I really need to share.” Or “Call me. This is urgent!” Or the nice ones “Hey, will you call me when you get a chance?” Or the ones that set us up for failure, “Call me back if you want.” Well, let’s see! If I wanted to call you I would be the one leaving the message not you, so are you going to be offended if I DON’T call you back?
There is a 99%chance we won’t be returning any of those calls! (Well, if you’re crying or something on the voicemail we might). But if you don’t tell us the reason for the call, chances are we will wait for you to call back. Maybe we’ve been burned too many times with people complaining about us so it always feels like we are being “set up” or maybe we just don’t like the “not knowing”. I don’t know! But seriously – if you want people to call you back, tell them the purpose for your phone call in the first place.
(I hope you read this with a smile on your face and could relate to some of it. I’m not a hater, just having some fun with calling. And I really don’t take pet peeves seriously. Just trying to make you laugh a little today.)
Though I don’t necessarily like talking on the phone and don’t know why, I sure do like another kind of calling and I know why! I love to call to God because He gives me every reason to call Him – He tells me the purpose for calling Him – He always answers – and it’s always a great conversation! Whether you like talking on the phone or not, if you love Jesus, you will love calling to God!
The Greek word for “call” means to accost a person, calling out loudly to get their attention because we want to talk intimately and immediately. There is desperation inherent in this calling because we want to initiate and maintain communication with our holy God! It would be like jumping up and down and waving our arms yelling “Hey!!!! Look at me, listen to me”!
When God tells us to call Him, He is literally telling us to be strong and intentional with a desire and need to talk with Him “right now”. Oh yes, we definitely ask for His attention with respect, but we ask in desperate faith with a need to know. It isn’t like taking a number and waiting patiently in line for our number to be called. It isn’t like signing in for an appointment and then taking a seat to patiently wait your turn. And it isn’t like putting an invitation in the mail, or sending an e-mail and waiting patiently for a response.
The best way I can describe it is the feeling of calling my husband when he first started going on mission trips and we had no communication. He would be across the world, usually in Papua New Guinea and I wouldn’t even know if he had arrived safely. I would call an emergency number he left me, hoping someone would answer. I was literally desperate to hear his voice, to know he arrived safely, to know he was doing well, and to hear how ministry was going. My intentions and desires were strong to hear him when I called. I didn’t want to leave a message and wait to hear back. There was an urgency on my part to hear him immediately because we share an intimate relationship as husband and wife.
God invites us to call to Him, and this is a request birthed from a sense of urgency mixed with immediacy prompted by intimacy! God wants to show great and mighty things to those who love Him, to those He is in relationship with, to those who call to Him, and He wants to do it now! Our eagerness to call to Him is simply a response to His desire!
The idea that God wants to show us great and mighty things should rid us of any lackadaisical attitude about calling! “Great” is an adjective meaning to expand the dimensions of something whether it be in number, power, value, or importance. In this context, it means the expansion of that which is already great! When people say they are doing GREAT – we automatically know they are better than good, fine, or okay. Their being “great” tells us “all is well” or better than well! Great is always bigger and better because it expands whatever we are talking about!
So in Jeremiah God says He has great things to show us. He is saying the things are already great in and of themselves and He wants to show us even more greatness about them. The emphasis is on the greatness to come from something already great. Call it, fresh revelation of greatness!
Perhaps a little food example can help illustrate this greatness God speaks of in Jeremiah. I think roast beef and mashed potatoes is a great meal! If you ask for a favorite meal of mine, this would be at the top of the list. When I eat a roast beef and mashed potato dinner, I might exclaim, “Now that was a great meal!” I’m saying not only is roast beef and mashed potatoes a great meal in and of itself, but this particular meal was great! We would have to admit not every cook puts out a great roast beef and mashed potato dinner, but the dinner itself is still a great combo, even if one particular meal falls short of greatness.
When God says He will show us great things, there is going to be greatness on top of greatness. Nothing of God falls short of greatness! God wants to give a fresh taste of His greatness on top of the fact He is already great – and He would like to season His greatness by showing us great things! Now THAT is GREAT news!
God is great all the time! His greatness exists because He is! And every time we glory in His greatness during worship, prayer, or any time we are focusing on Him, we get a fresh revelation of His greatness.
But God didn’t stop with great things but said He would show us mighty things. The word “mighty” in Jeremiah is rendered “unsearchable” in some translations. It means something isolated or inaccessible. What an amazing truth – God wants to show us things that are inaccessible by any other means outside of calling to Him! Simply said, we can get access to these mighty things only when God shows them to us! And He will show them to us if we genuinely call out to Him. He wants to show us unsearchable things we can’t find by any other means except calling to Him! God wants to take us to places we’ve never been before! In fact, they are places we don’t even know about – because they can only be found by Him showing them to us when we call to Him.
So, as much as I dislike calling people on the phone, I LOVE calling to God! I hope you do to! We get to live supernatural lives by calling to God and spending time in secret with Jesus! He is calling each of us to a deeper intimacy and prayer in this hour in which we live, going into His chambers and getting His counsel as well as fresh strategies for today. We won’t know these things any other way than by calling out to Him and listening for His answers to those things we don’t know. Call to Him today! He will answer and you will be amazed at the great and mighty things He will show you that you do not know!