Is God Ignoring My Calls?
By Fin Sheridan
Many of us have a love-hate relationship with our phones. This is never more apparent when it comes to phone calls. There’s a bit of a gender stereotype that girls love them and guys hate them – I don’t know that it’s always that way because I know plenty of girls that hate them and… nope, still no guys that enjoy them.
It’s weird because we’ve never been more connected to our phones. We just don’t like using them for their simplest purpose. It’s probably because texting, instant messaging, emails etc are so much easier and far less awkward. That’s behind the aversion to phone calls – the awkwardness of a phone call. Do we chat or just get straight to the point? What if we both ask “How are you?” at the same time? Why is it so difficult to end a phone call without saying “bye, thanks, bye” sixteen times? WHAT IF I HAVE TO LEAVE A VOICEMAIL?!
So, when the phone rings, what do you do? I know plenty of people (and I’ve definitely done it more than once) who will look at it, watch it ring and not answer. Either it will go to voicemail, able to be listened to on one’s own terms or they’ll send a text, which is what they should’ve done in the first place, right?! We frequently do this to unknown numbers, often to our friends and acquaintances, sometimes to our parents and very rarely to our partners (my wife reads these articles so I have to be careful here…)
“The whole Bible is filled with promises of a God who is actively looking to talk with us and will never let our calls go unanswered.”
Have you ever felt like God’s doing the same to you? Heaven’s metaphorical prayer line buzzes, God glances at the screen, sees your name, gives a little sigh and lets it ring unanswered. I’m not being flippant here; this is how thousands of us view God and his attitude towards our prayers. Our impression of God is that he is disinterested, mildly irritated, or ambivalent. He doesn’t want to take our calls.
Jesus’ life on the earth shows us that this cannot be true. Firstly, why would a disinterested God bother to come, live and die for people that he didn’t care about? It makes no sense. Jesus is the proof that God loves us. Secondly, Jesus seemed deeply interested in helping people see that God wanted to hear from them and that he had something to say back. He teaches the disciples to pray in Matthew 6. He encourages asking, seeking and knocking in the Beatitudes. He invites us to come him to him and that God will respond to that coming, in John 14.
The promise of Jeremiah 33:3 is that when we call to God, he will directly respond. In fact, the whole Bible is filled with promises of a God who is actively looking to talk with us and will never let our calls go unanswered. Even when it doesn’t feel like it, our Father is always listening, always interested and always available.