...do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV)
And then there’s... instant messaging. I think back to one of the first times, if not the first time, that I really used “instant messaging” to my advantage in our family life, to help me and my wife deal with a rather overwhelming “storm” of life that had gathered on the horizon but was now trying to “blow” us away.
I was in Bible school in Dallas, working a couple of jobs. It was about the middle of December, one of my favorite times of the year. I had a wonderful two year old daughter, was married to the girl of my dreams, and she was pregnant with our second child, who would be born in January, less than a month away. Life was busy and tough but life was really good.
Our oldest daughter Angela had taken ill. She had a fever, which you know as a parent or grandparent or parent to be, is not all that unusual with children. There are a lot of germs out there and it’s only a matter of time before some health issue arises that you have to deal with. You just do the regular “stuff”. Proper medicine, proper hydration, proper rest, and before you know it...she would be back on her feet.
Only this time...that didn’t happen. Little Angela kept getting sicker and weaker...and finally we were instructed to take her to the hospital. I remember lifting her into my arms and she was just as limp as a rag and unresponsive...I felt helpless and my mind was beginning to wander to places I didn’t want it to go. Is she okay? What’s going to happen? How bad is it? And then...will she recover?
After several days of testing, the diagnosis was presented...she had spinal meningitis and they couldn’t guarantee any particular outcome at the moment. I can’t speak for Sherri, but I was stunned and taken back...I just didn’t expect to hear those words. They couldn’t be sure what might happen? It was more serious than I had ever anticipated.
That’s where the “instant messaging” came in...Sherri and I held hands and “instant messaged” the Lord...that’s what prayer is...a continuous...throughout the day...conversation with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is available in a moment...instantly...at the time when we needed Him the most. We poured out our thoughts and request to Him...and yielded ourselves to His will. We had discovered through previous “instant messaging” and reading His written message, the Bible, “that He would work all things together for good for those that love Him,” Romans 8:28. We really believed that with all of our heart and that brought to our lives a “peace that surpasses understanding”.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 (ESV)
We spent the next 10 days in the hospital...through the Christmas season...and Angela recovered. We thankfully took her home with little physical consequence realized in her life. We “instant messaged” our thanks and gratitude to the Lord and continued to tell all who would listen that God is good...all the time.
I’ve often thought back to those days as well as others, with the realization of what a wonderful invitation and gift He offers to us to come to Him and receive rest...and how often I have accessed that gift through prayer...in an instant message...where we walk with Him and talk with Him along life’s journey. What a blessing. What a help in time of need.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1 (ESV)
Like a lot of you, I instant message or text some of my friends all the time. It’s not just during the time of crisis but when “whatever” or “anything” is happening. It keeps the relationship vibrant and growing. In fact, I have quite a few people that if I needed something...I feel like I could instant message them anytime and they would help if they could.
I’ve done the same thing with the Lord. I instant message Him all the time...I pray, talk with Him...not just in the time of crisis...but because He is my friend and my Lord. And when there are times, which there are, when no one else can help in any way...like with Angela...or with providing a way to go to heaven...I turn to the One, the only One... who can meet the need of my heart and my life.
Give it a try. Start “instant messaging” the Lord today. It doesn’t have to be a time of crisis...just let the relationship grow and deepen...and know that if a “storm” comes into your life...He is just an “instant” away and He will listen and He will answer.
Who doesn’t need a little “peace” in their life? Who doesn’t need a little “security” in their life? Who doesn’t need a refuge? Who doesn’t need forgiveness of their sin and salvation? Who is without need of help? That would be no one, and all that you need can be found through your relationship to Jesus...so why not “instant message” Him all throughout the day and treasure the relationship you have with Him. It really doesn’t take any time at all...just an instant.