“Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3 (NASB)
I came across this verse recently and it struck my heart deeply because it epitomized exactly the heavy longing in my heart for more. To think that the God of the universe would answer me when I call is inconceivable. But beyond that, that He might whisper some small insight, secret or mystery is awe-inspiring.
But this is what I like to call an if/then message. The first part involves me. The second part involves God. If I do the calling then He does the answering.
So, what does it mean to “call” on the Lord? Does it mean to just pray and if so, is it the small “help me” snippets thrown up heavenward throughout our day? Or is it the sackcloth and ashes type that involve laying prostrate on the ground? Or something else entirely?
Hebrew word for call is – qara’ H7122 (Qal) to call, call out, recite, read, cry out, proclaim, to summon, invite or call for…
Ironically, the morning I was struck by this verse was the same morning a friend was coming over for coffee. We had been meaning to get together for quite a long time and finally managed a time to set a date that would work.
So, even though my name is Mary, I was scurrying around like a Martha. It was the Christmas season, so the house was all decked out. I cleaned and put stuff away, straightened up pillows and cleared off tables, turned on all the Christmas lights and the heat in all the rooms, even opening up the door to the sun room to let the light in. Lastly I just had to make the coffee and set out the cookies. I had even warned my teenagers the night before that someone would be here in the morning and could they please not walk out at noon in their pajamas.
And then the call came. She was sick and couldn’t make it. I was so disappointed. I was looking forward to the visit to catch up with my friend. And I had been ready.
When I read this verse that spoke of “calling” on the Lord and then I read one of the meanings of the word was “to summon, invite or call for” I was struck with the similarity of preparing for my invited coffee date. Although the physical call to my friend came quite some time before, the date and time were set. I looked forward and prepared so that our time would be beautiful, enjoyable and distraction free.
I wonder if God wants the same thing from us during our time with Him. What would it be like if we came before Him each morning with the same thoughtful preparation? Instead of cleaning our house, we could clean our heart.
I know my visit with my friend wouldn’t have been as enjoyable if the phones had been ringing, kids had been interrupting, or my thoughts wandering. But how many of these things do we allow to sneak into our quiet time?
For me, the answer is… guilty as charged. If they aren’t external distractions, they are the internal ramblings of my ADD mind. “Focus, focus, focus” I tell myself. And I do. Somedays better than others.
But mostly, I think “calling” is about the expectation in our heart. The invitation. The longing for the sweetness of that time together. The outward stuff helps to set the mood. The good stuff is on the inside. The pouring out of hearts. That’s the sweet center.
And when I want more, that’s where I want to be. Maybe that’s what I will give to Jesus for His birthday this year… a distraction free, expectant heart and a longing desire to spend sweet time with Him. I look forward to what He alone can bring to our date.