Menus, Runarounds, and VIPs

Photo by Alex Andrews from Pexels

Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know. —Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV

Making a phone call to a business these days has become a traumatic event. For me anyway. If I don’t get a canned voice telling me to “listen to the following menu options” and press this or say that to indicate what I’m calling for, I get the runaround.

I just hate it when I press the appropriate number and get still another confounded menu. While a recorded message spews out numerous choices, I stare at piles of work clamoring to get done and hear precious, unused seconds tick away. All too often, none of the selections relate to what I’m calling about, and there’s no option to speak to a breathing, thinking person.

“I want to talk to a real, live human being!” I once shouted into the phone.

“I’m sorry,” the pleasant, disembodied voice on the other end responded. “I do not recognize your answer. Will you repeat it, please?”

Yeah, I’ll repeat it, I thought, slamming down the phone, and a whole lot more.

Then there’s the old runaround. One time I called the financial aid office of my son’s college (for the third time in two weeks) to ask where our way-overdue refund check was. They politely patched me through to the business office, which tried to pass me back to the financial aid office. When that didn’t work, the nice lady on the other end told me the check was coming out of Rhode Island.

“Rhode Island?” I sputtered, trying not to scream.“That’ll take another week!”

“I understand your frustration,” she said, trying to calm me down.

She didn’t get it. That wasn’t what I wanted to hear. What I wanted to hear was, “I’ll find out where your check is and get right back to you.”

But how rarely that happens these days.

Fortunately, God doesn’t use menus and screens, human or angel, to keep people from getting through to Him. He invites and even welcomes our calls to Him—and promises to answer.

“Call to Me, and I will answer you” (Jeremiah 33:3).

“Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you” (Psalm 50:15).

“Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7–11).

He hears and answers because He cares intensely for each one of us. In His eyes, you are not merely a complaining voice at the other end wanting something. You are His child. He yearns to hear from you and lavish you with His love and care.

So call Him.

In today’s high-tech world, where it’s nearly impossible to get through to the person who has the power to help us, it’s good to know that the most important VIP of all is only a prayer away.

Evening and morning and at noon, I will pray, and cry aloud, and You will hear my voice. Thank you, Lord! Amen. (Psalm 55:17)

Read and reflect on Nehemiah 2:1–8.

From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea: 101 devotional readings to savor during your time with God © 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.

Only Temporary


Todd, age 4, playing in the snow outside our basement home, winter 1980-81

I have learned to get along happily whether I have much or little. – Philippians 4:11 NLT

Thirty-nine years ago, we moved into an unfinished basement fifteen miles from town, hoping to save rent money as we built our house ourselves. I was a stay-at-home mom, so money was scarce with just my husband’s income—and even that was sometimes only a hundred dollars a week.

The children were still toddlers—Todd was four, and Jaime was 11 months—and boxes, clothes and toys cluttered every square foot as I struggled to make that concrete cubicle a home. The furnace, on loan from my husband’s boss until we could afford a new one (which ended up being 25 years later), needed repair. It was already mid-November, and winter was closing in fast. A constant fire in the woodstove did little to warm up the concrete surrounding us. Insulating the place was still on our to-do list. I wore long underwear, a toboggan hat and layers of clothing indoors.

The plumbing was unfinished, so we hooked up a garden hose to the water tank and fed it through the hole in the wall above the tub meant for the fixtures. Lugging pots of hot water from the kitchen, I’d flooded the floor twice getting the kids’ bath ready.

My back ached from sleeping on an old, lump sofa bed mattress so thin I could feel the support bars. Our comfortable queen-size bed was still in the wagon shed, where we temporarily stored items while we unpacked and organized.

Three days or disorganization, interruptions and things gone wrong left perfectionist me struggling with my emotions. Why can’t I have nice things, the easy way, like everyone else? I wondered. Why am I always a “have not” and never a “have”?

Although I tried not to complain (too much), my husband knew I was struggling and tried to cheer me up. “It’s only temporary,” he’d say when my impatience oozed through the growing cracks in my composure.

“Yeah, right,” I’d answer.

Then an early snowstorm dumped six inches on the countryside overnight. Every two hours I bundled up even more and shoveled swirling drifts away from the only door. Flinging heavy, wet snow over my shoulder, I finally gave in to self-pity.

“Temporary, temporary!” I fumed. “Is everything temporary?”

The answer came immediately. Even if you had everything exactly the way you wanted, it would still be temporary.

I couldn’t argue with that.

Lord, help me to remember that my earthly condition, whether rich, poor, or in-between, is only temporary. Remind me daily what’s really important. Amen.

Read and reflect on 1 Timothy 6:6–8.

From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea for the Seasons, © 2018 by Michele Huey. All rights reserved.

Our house now (summer 2019)