Pulpit reflections: He listens

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 4:6-7

Did you know that in Hartford, Connecticut, 911 dispatchers field some 160,000 calls each year? No, that’s not right. They receive 160,000 phone calls every year. Of those 160,000 calls, only half are real bona fide emergencies. The rest fit into the “it’s really not a big deal” category. I probably don’t have to tell you a recent call made by an unidentified male fits into the second category. 

The male’s problem was that he had ordered a small half bacon/half artichoke pizza, and the delivery boy showed up with a small half bacon/half pineapple pizza. Even worse, the company had declined to give the caller a refund. 

So, the caller took his problem to a higher court. He called the police. “Can’t you guys do something?”

Much to her credit, the 911 dispatcher didn’t get irate. She didn’t chew out the caller for having wasted her time. She didn’t give the man the impression that his call was unimportant and inconsequential. 

In the politest tones possible, the dispatcher encouraged the man to go to the pizza place and try to get satisfaction. Fearing the complaint might become violent, the dispatcher sent a policeman to the pizza place. 

Now if I’d be a guessing man, I’d be willing to go out on a limb and say most of our readers think the 911 call was absolutely absurd. Some may even be thinking the caller should be penalized for wasting the time of the dispatcher. 

I want you to turn your eyes to the dispatcher. Look at her as she patiently, calmly listens to people’s needs...the big needs, the little needs, the legitimate needs and the totally absurd needs. The 911 dispatcher handles them all. 

You and I should not be surprised when that Almighty God does the same thing. That is why King David wrote in the Psalms (116:1-2): “I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because He inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.”

What a word picture David paints. The all-powerful, Creator of the universe is listening to our small human voices. And what’s more, He has inclined His ear. He is all attention to the pleas and praises of His people. Is it any wonder David, you and I should love the Lord and call on Him as long as we live?

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