Message Received

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One of those things that can be a little irritating for many of us is when we try to connect with someone and we get no response. Fifty years ago we were a bit more patient because we waited on a letter to arrive in the mail. Prior to that we waited on a telegram perhaps. There was no expectation on getting a response right away and we trusted the postal system or telegrapher would be attendant to the job he or she was paid to do.

 

Each decade has brought us more ways to communicate and connect. Answering machines and emails moved us ahead considerably in our ability to connect. But they also made it harder for us when a call wasn’t returned or an email wasn’t answered.  It left us wondering if the person we wanted to reach received the message. Sometimes if an email bounced back noting it wasn’t the right address, we discovered the problem. Many times it didn’t bounce back and yet no response came.

 

As our phones got smarter, our expectations grew with the advent of texting, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and more. Now we had the potential for almost instantaneous communication no matter where we were or what we were doing. That didn’t always result in answers.

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Getting a response has been with us since birth. Before we had words, we cried to get a response from our parents that we were hungry or needed a diaper changed or wanted someone to hold us to know we were not alone.

 

At issue underneath our desire for a response is not just about getting an answer. It’s about knowing we matter, that someone cared enough about us to respond.

 

It’s little wonder that we can be tempted to stumble in our relationship with God when we don’t get an answer we hope for or it is delayed. Some of us can wonder if He is listening or if He heard.

 

When that question nibbles at our faith, an Old Testament verse gives a clear answer:

 

“Before they call I will answer;
while they are still speaking I will hear.”

Isaiah 65:24 (NIV)

 

Do we really grasp that God is good?

 

We say we do, but the level to which it permeates our understanding has a great deal to do with whether or not we recognize our own badness apart from his incredible gift of grace born of his goodness.

 

We sometimes wonder if God has gotten the message that we are ill, discouraged, depressed, lonely, angry, disappointed, and fed up with one thing or another. We also wonder if justice will ever come in the midst of a life of inequality and unfairness.

 

There is only one answer.

 

Yes.

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If we grapple with that, consider how often in Revelation 2 and 3 John quotes the Lord saying, “I know…” The statement is in response to seven church bodies that are identified, but represent Christian believers of all types through the ages. I think those two words, “I know,” were meant to both reassure and challenge because what followed was most often commendation and challenge.

 

  • “I know your works, your toil, and your patient endurance…” Rev. 2:1a (ESV)

 

  • “I know your tribulation and your poverty…” Rev. 2:9a (ESV)

 

  • “I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is…” Rev. 2:13a (ESV)

 

  • “I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first.” Rev. 2:19 (ESV)

 

  • “I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.” Rev. 3:1c (ESV)

 

  • “I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one can shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” Rev. 3: 8 (ESV)

 

  • “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot!” Rev. 3:15 (ESV)

 

Our message to God has been received.

 

The more important question is whether we have received his message to us and responded. It’s a message of love from the One who is love.

 

“Yet love has no weight, or size, or substance. It does not know the barriers of time or space or distance, of life and death. Love travels on the wind. Love is greater than the trials and the suffering of this world. Love endures all things.”

 Lisa Wingate in Good Hope Road

 

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8 thoughts on “Message Received

  1. While waiting on others can be frustrating, waiting on God can be a time of growth and increased dependency on Him if we will just see it in light of eternity. He knows. He sees. That means we can trust that He is always at work around us, even when we don’t see it! Thanks for the encouragement!

    1. So very true, Vickie. I think it connects to what we understand and embrace about God’s goodness. I recall so well the response of the beavers in the Narnia series whether Aslan was safe….”No, but he’s good.” Let us not forget that as I think it helps lay a foundation for trust and waiting. Thanks for taking time to read and comment🌻

    1. Thanks so much, Jennifer. It is such a special thing when the Lord highlights a word or words we have read many times and causes us to pause and consider what He wants us to see. That happened yesterday as I was starting to read again the Gospel of Mark and noted how often he chose the word “immediately” to describe an action or behavior. Blessings on you as well. Pam

  2. It is easy to be impatient in these days of instant communication. We like when our texts and emails and messages are answered immediately. I’m glad that God hears us immediately! And even though it appears at times that he’s not responding back quickly, he is always responding to us. Thanks for this message about his love and goodness, Pam!

    1. Truly!! There really is no one like Him…no equal, is there? I think there may be times when we don’t even notice the Lord’s response to something and sometimes that may relate to how specific we are or are not in what we ask. Thanks for your encouragement❤️

  3. How I love the message of this post! I’ve never focused on those two precious words in that passage in Revelation before. It reminds me of Hagar’s story in Genesis 16 and the revelation of one of my favorite names of God – El Roi, the God Who Sees. He sees and He knows. That Truth has been my hope through many dark valleys. Thank you for directing our eyes to our faithful Father today!

    1. Thanks so much, Jana! I think one of the grand gifts of the Word is how each reading of a passage or book allows Him to highlight something we didn’t see as clearly before. Thank YOU for these kind and encouraging words.💕

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