“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
–Hebrews 13:8 (NLT)
After 11 run-around calls to my carrier, my cell phone’s signal strength only seemed to be getting worse, but that wasn’t the main issue. I felt like it was time to face the fact that I was getting nowhere fast. On the other hand, I didn’t want to give up. After all, weren’t my wife and I getting a good deal on our phone service?
Then I remembered the old addage, “You get what you pay for.” So, sitting down with a sigh, I had to admit to myself that I was ready to throw in the towel as far as this service was concerned.
Only three things were consistent about this service. First, to put it in layman’s terms, my phone just didn’t work right, and I didn’t feel like the company tried very hard to fix it. Secondly, my phone had a lousy signal, which kept dropping calls, and my business line only rang periodically.
I discovered the third thing when I broke down and made the 12th call. Of course I was promptly put on hold, and I experienced the “fun” of waiting for over an hour. I had never heard such terrible hold music, and when a rep did finally pick up, I was tempted to ask her if it was a product of recycling. But I bit my tongue, and I was polite.
My wife is too nice to say so, but she has implied that I can really be stubborn. But to tell you the truth, I didn’t believe it until I made that final call. That is when the light finally came on, and our marrige was revolutionized.
But I have also found that being placed on hold forever helps you to develop patience. But if you don’t have a cell phone, don’t worry–this is your lucky day! You can get my special number right now for only $29.95!
Actually, there’s a very important reason I’m telling you this. I’m afraid we give up on God the same way I gave up on my carrier. We don’t allow Him to change us, and our attitudes change like shifting sand. However, when you read about our Christian brothers and sisters in other countries, you can see a stability in their faith which has often been produced by suffering.
You and I don’t have the faintest idea about what it means to suffer for Christ. I have been doing some reading, because like many people, I used to equate suffering with things like terrible hold music. Then, while writing this blog, it hit me in a new way. You and I have a decision to make when we are put on hold by life. Are we going to see our difficult challenges as obstacles, or opportunities for the Lord to work in us?
I became ashamed by this revelation, and I felt like God was asking me a very serious question. “Instead of dwelling on the long time that you’ve waited on hold,” He seemed to say, “why don’t you look at the things you do have?”
So I made a list of my blessings, and I challenge you to do the same. You will be surprised, for while mundane tasks may still be boring, you will find that your outlook will change, and you will look at things differently.
But getting back to my list, I thought about all the people who are trapped in bed, and how they would give their eyeteeth just to be able to hold an iPhone–and here I am complaining. Then I thought about the comfortable chairs which surrounded me, especially the recliner which I sat in. Again, I asked myself, “How many people would love to trade places with you?”
I let my mind wander, and I thought about many other blessings which God has bestowed upon me. A great example is living in a nice, warm apartment, instead of having to reside outdoors.
Well, you get the picture, but this story will be meaningless if you don’t make your own list of things to be thankful for. Use this Thanksgiving season to reflect on what God has given you, and you will be amazed. Let Him work in your life, as He doesn’t change. Better yet, He won’t drop any call signals when we choose to speak and work with Him.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870.
Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Tuesday night Bible study. These studies are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 6:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 313-209-8800. Our PIN is 8699032. We hope to talk with you soon!
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.