Psalm 138 

When I called, you answered me (v. 3, NIV).

In the early 1980s, I got my first telephone answering machine. In that era of landlines and no caller ID, the answering machine that captured the caller’s information automatically was such a gift. 

But there was another great feature that we all quickly learned to love: it allowed us to screen our calls. This was heady, irritation-avoiding stuff. During a visit with my parents, I made the mistake of extolling the call-screening feature of this device. My mom’s response: “You mean, when I call and the machine picks up, you might actually be there? You might not answer me? What if I have something important to tell you?”


But truly, don’t we often wonder the same about God? When we “call,” does God let it go to voicemail? King David thinks differently: When I called, you answered me. What a gift.

Perhaps the intention of our call makes a difference. Perhaps, like my mother calling me, we call God because we need to convey something important and want assurance that God will respond. But what if God is trying to call us (that’s something important) and we’re letting it go to voicemail? 

At the risk of running out this answering machine metaphor to absurdity, perhaps the imperative here is not about calling and having God answer. Perhaps the imperative here is that we need to take the calls from our family, and friends, and neighbors. Take those calls and listen to what needs to be said. It’s important.


How can I “take the call” more effectively in my life?


God, thanks for never sending my calls to voicemail. Help me have the willingness to do likewise with those who need it. Amen.

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