So I’m thinking of something I learned yesterday from my phone (of all things). While waiting for cycle class at the Y, I tried to check my email. I’ve only had a smart phone for a few months, and the constant accessibility is something that I see as both blessing and curse. (Anyone with me?)
Sometimes I’m amused by my feeble attempts to wrap my mind around the ways of God when I cannot understand all of the features of this phone. It’s very likely that the settings aren’t set correctly. I had 3 new email notifications, but none of them were showing up in my inbox. So I refreshed and refreshed and refreshed again. No new messages.
Now something like this drives me crazy. I mean, I need to know immediately what those 3 messages are. What if I am missing something life-changing?
I tell you, the Holy Spirit is sharp (duh) and does not miss an opportunity. Because while I was fretting about my unread email, He whispered to my spirit that I had rushed away from home, leaving fresh messages from His Word unread .
God had messages for me yesterday. Life-changing messages. Words that could refresh, renew, and transform me if I would take time to open and read.
When I am fearful, He speaks words of protection (Isaiah 41:10).
When I am weary, He wants me to know that I can come to Him (Matthew 11: 28 – 30).
When I am stressed out, He reminds me that He is in control (Colossians 1:17)
When I am weak, He assures me that His strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12: 9-10).
When I lack purpose and vision, He promises to continue in the plans He has for my life (Philippians 1:6).
When I am grieving, He reminds me that there will be a Day when tears will cease (Revelation 21:3-4).
When I am frustrated, He asks me to wait for His good way (Psalm 27:13-14).
When I doubt myself, He encourages me that He fashioned me just as He wanted (Psalm 139:13-14).
When I need wisdom, His supply is available for the asking (James 1:5).
When I want to lash out, He sets Jesus before me as the example of humility (Philippians 2: 1-11).
When I don’t have what it takes, He offers grace that’s free (Ephesians 2:8-9).
When I mourn for life as it used to be, He renews my hope in what life can become (Isaiah 43:19).
When I lack the trendiest things, He exchanges my worldly desires for eternal ones (Matthew 6:19-21;31-33).
Oh, that my heart, mind, and soul would be constantly accessible to the Words of the Spirit. God wired us for connection. When my phone alerts me to a new message, I enjoy the thought that someone wants to communicate with me. I’m disappointed when it turns out to be some lame, impersonal notice like my library book is overdue.
But God is eager to communicate with me. And you. Every day. Every moment. His Word is living, active, relevant, and always personal.
Lately my heart is heavy just thinking about my birthday next week. Yes, my birthday. Not because of my age, but because of the memories. On my last birthday, my Daddy and I sat together for hours on end while my Mom was in emergency surgery for an aortic aneurysm. It was a grueling day. Daddy taught me how to play Free Cell on my tablet to pass the time. We watched the breaking news about the Boston Marathon bombing until Daddy said, “I can’t watch anymore.” We ate lunch and dinner and sat and waited and said nothing and said everything. When we finally saw Mom, looking in very grave condition, I remember how Daddy said, “What will I do without her?”
Oh, Daddy, I can barely believe that a year later, here we are, doing life without you. How I long just to sit in your presence. I didn’t know then.
How desperately I need to be in a Father’s presence and say nothing and say everything. And the Founder of the universe allows me to come to Him as child comes to a Father. What extraordinary mercy! What an incomprehensible gift! He has messages that my heart needs to hear. How can I leave them unread?
Today, I have a choice. I can rehearse my problems or I can refresh myself in Jesus’ presence. My problems tell me that life is stressful. Jesus’ presence tells me that He is sufficient. Which message will I choose to receive?
As I walked from the hallway into my cycle class, I checked my phone again. 3 new messages in my inbox! All it took was a change in my position (and yeah, the messages weren’t all that important).
Sometimes my soul requires a change in position. When my heart and my mind and my willfulness are rushing ahead, I must pause and make a u-turn. And wait. And admit my needfulness. When I open God’s Word and allow it to permeate my soul, the Holy Spirit can send the notification that the message is there – whatever the need is and whenever it arises.
Humility helps me to hear.
Dependence draws me to His Word.
Obedience opens my eyes to His vision.
Life-changing messages are waiting.
May we pause and position ourselves so that the Holy Spirit will refresh us to receive them.
Psalm 119: 35 – 37.
Direct me in the path of Your commands,
for there I find delight.
36 Turn my heart toward Your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.
37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to Your Word.