August 15, 2012

Text Messages

I turned off my phone as I entered the sanctuary, and placed it in my purse. Like a “good Christian,” I didn’t want the device to serve as a distraction for me or any of  my  fellow worshippers during the service. When it was over, I reached for my phone to power it up again. I pressed the “on” button, but to my horror, it wouldn’t power up. Distress! “How will I get it fixed?” I worried. “What if my boys or my parents are trying to reach me?” After a few minutes of troubleshooting I tried removing and replacing the battery, and it worked fine after that.

But during that short “ordeal,” a thought occurred to me. “Perhaps I love my phone too much. I don’t even like it to be at the other end of the house!” A text from one of my grown sons is a ray of sunshine, and a conversation with either of them can make my day. But there’s more. I have noticed that I am drawn to check my e-mail whenever I walk by my computer. So I asked myself, “What is it that you are hoping to find out in that in-box?”

2012 1523 page31After some contemplation I came to the conclusion that on some level what I was really craving was affection, and that I had been mistakenly counting on my children and others in my life to fill my emotional cup.

“So what would happen if I switched things up and looked to my Savior for the affection I craved?” I asked myself. In Philippians 2:1 Paul indicates that there is consolation in Christ, comfort of love, fellowship of the Spirit, affection, and mercy. And Jesus has even given me a book filled with text messages.

I have now placed my Bible on a table I have to pass on my way to the computer. Whenever I get that “urge,” I go directly to my Bible, which is opened to the last chapter I read that morning. I slowly reread the passage and look for something personal, warm, and pertinent. And I’m never disappointed, for my divine Friend is never too busy to text me.

I’m thirsting for more of Jesus, and I am longing to experience all the warmth of which Paul spoke in Philippians 2:1. If I am to be “like-minded,” passing along this love (as Paul admonishes in the next verse), I must first fill my own cup at the fountain.

Then I got to thinking. What if Jesus longs to hear from me as much as, or more than, I long to hear from my sons? What if He carries a “heavenly cell phone” just hoping to get a message from me, His daughter? Has He been disappointed that He doesn’t hear from me more often?

“I’m sorry, Lord! You are so worthy of my love and affection! You have done so much for me. Your blessings are continual and too numerous to count. I do appreciate You, and You are going to hear from me a lot more often!”

What a personal God I serve! He longs for intimacy with me as much as I long for intimacy with Him. And he is the ultimate parent, lavishing His care and constant loving attention upon me.

I am thankful for my phone and computer—both of which are handy bridges to each of my precious family members. However, only One can completely satisfy my heart’s desire.
I have moved Jesus to the top of my contact list.

Brenda Kay Albrecht is a grateful sheep in the flock of the Good Shepherd. This article was published August 16, 2012.