Children ask interesting questions. Many years ago, my 11-year-old son, walked into the office and asked: “Dad, why did you become a minister?”
Great question so I thought a moment and answered: “I received a ‘call’ from God.”
He obviously wasn’t satisfied: “What does that mean? Did God call you on the telephone?”
I paused for dramatic effect, smiled and said, “Yes, God called me on the telephone.”
He then said with a trace of a giggle: “What telephone number did God use: 1-800-HEAVEN?”
I mentally counted out the letters and answered, “That’s close, but the actual phone number to God is 1-800-2HEAVEN!” At that, Stephen grinned and left the room while I continued reading.
A few minutes later, my mischievous son came back into the room with a twinkle in his eye and a huge smile on his face: “I called 1-800-2HEAVEN. Do you want to know what happened?”
Quickly putting down my book, I said: “I’ve got to hear this.”
“I called 1-800-2HEAVEN and a recording said they were closed but please call back between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.”
After we finished laughing, we both concluded, God does answer “Calls,” but only Monday through Friday from 8 to 5.
“Does God really call us? Can we call on God?”
Yes, of course, but don’t take my word for it. If you do a word search in the Bible you will find that the word, call or called or calling appears in the Bible over 700 times. Here are a few examples:
Are you looking for answers to tough questions? “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. (Isaiah 55:6)
Do you wonder if God hears your cry for help? “I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer.” (Ps 17:6)
Do you need to know God forgives you? “But I call to God, and the Lord saves me.” (Ps 55:16)
Are you feeling poorly? “Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him.” (James 5:14)
Do you feel unworthy of hearing God’s call? “Jesus said: ‘It is not the healthy, who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:17)
Are you wondering what God has planned for you? “For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.” (1 Thessalonians 4:7)
Are you looking for answers? Seek the Lord.
Do you wonder if God hears you? God will answer.
Do you need to know whether God will forgive you? God saves you.
Are you feeling poorly? God can help you.
Do you feel unworthy? You are the one God wants most of all.
Are you wondering what God could possibly have planned for you? God wants you to live for God.
In other words, you don’t need to call 1-800-2HEAVEN. Simply, find your Bible and look through a few of the more than 700 specific instances where God calls you, wants you and specifically seeks you out. God hears you, loves you, forgives you and will answer you. That is a promise from God.
Just out of curiosity as I was rewriting this story, I called 1-800-2HEAVEN and heard another recording. This time a sweet, soft voice replied: “Heavenly Mountain Resorts” and then offered to sell tickets for a ski resort which happily promised a Heavenly good time.
REV. LARRY E. DAVIES can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.