Does anyone even use a home phone anymore? We have one just in case one day we have a babysitter who doesn’t have a cell phone and needs to call 911 for an emergency… although I’m pretty sure even junior high kids have cell phones these days. Lately our home phone has been ringing a lot, even though we never answer it. The telemarketers haven’t figured that out. They have a tough job! People rarely answer the phone if they don’t recognize the number, and then if they do answer they aren’t happy to be speaking with someone trying to sell them something.
As I was doing dishes and letting the phone ring I wondered if I ever treat God like that… not answering when He calls, or answering but being upset. It seemed a strange thought. Surely I wouldn’t do that. I want to answer God and I’m happy to hear from Him.
Lately I’ve been wanting to wake up earlier (I use the word “wanting” very loosely) and spend time reading the Bible and praying. But every time my alarm goes off I hit snooze. Or Jack wakes up before my alarm goes off. Then I remembered a few days last week when Jack woke up early (around 5am) and I held him and convinced him it was still nighttime and he went back to sleep. As I was on my way back to bed, I remembered my desire to spend time with the Lord … I could just stay awake now and go read the Bible. Maybe God woke Jack up just to get me up. Maybe that was God calling … I didn’t answer. I went back to sleep.
How else has God been calling me? Maybe the ideas to bring cookies to the neighbor, dinner to a friend, email a friend to see how she’s doing. But I get distracted from these good intentions. God calls and I say “hold on.” The Creator of the universe, my Maker, my Redeemer calls me. Am I really listening? Are you listening?
In Genesis 22 God calls Abraham and Abraham answers “Here I am.” God gives Abraham instructions to sacrifice his son, the one God promised to Abraham whom Abraham had waited for many, many years. Abraham is obedient and brings his son Isaac up the mountain for the offering. Isaac asks where the animal is to sacrifice and Abraham says “God will provide.” Abraham takes the knife in his hand, ready to slay his son in obedience to God, but God calls him: Abraham. “Here I am,” says Abraham. God says to him, “Do not lay a hand on the boy. Now I know you fear God because you have not withheld from me your son.”
God called Abraham and Abraham answered – twice. If Abraham didn’t hear the second time, Isaac would have died. If Abraham didn’t hear and obey the first time, he would have missed the miracle. He would have missed the testing of his faith, which produces perseverance, character, and hope. Abraham trusted God and God did not fail Him.
May we have ears, minds, and hearts that listen for when God is calling us. May we respond “Here I am” – willing, available, ready. May we answer Him joyfully, with gratitude. May we grow in our faith, trusting that God will always provide.