Does the possibility even exist in our present day, high-tech world? Can someone actually place a phone call and get a real-live, human operator on the first try? I seriously have my doubts, and those doubts were reinforced recently as I found myself desperately attempting to get through on a health information line at our local hospital. As the dreaded elevator music echoed in the back round, I came to the realization that I was going to have to invest some time into this project. It was then that I heard that irritating, pre-recorded voice announce: Thank you for your call; your call is important to us (I highly doubt that). You are currently tenth in queue.
Queue is a word of French origin, literally meaning tail. It has the sense of a waiting line, a line or sequence of persons or vehicles awaiting their turn to be attended to or to proceed in a first come, first served order. The French would engage the phrase queue a queue, or one after another. The Latin word coda, or end, would be derived from that term, reminding anyone in a queue that newcomers must join the line…at the end. And there I found myself, at the back of the line, in queue, awaiting the opportunity to resolve my issue with an operator…if I could stay awake that long!
The prophet Jeremiah was struggling through some severe trials. His nation was in ruins, both spiritually and physically, and his words of warning were on most counts, ignored by the people that he was trying so desperately to help. Indeed he could cry out to God that “waters flowed over my head.” But when he cried out to his God, Jeremiah was not put in queue for even a moment. “Thou hast heard my voice…Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon thee: thou saidst, Fear not.”
The sweet psalmist, David, also understood the power of crying out to Jehovah God. In the stress of the moment, David would often find his faith a bit shaken. But God had proven Himself time and again in David’s life, so even in the midst of tribulation this weary “man after God’s own heart” could boldly exclaim: “nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee,” not hours later, but WHEN he cried.
I find it amazing, wondrous, and truly humbling that I can “come boldly unto the throne of grace;” I have the confidence that I can “obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” I’m not put on hold, placed in an endless line awaiting the attention of my Father, He is there when I am in need. My Father inclines His ear to me; He leans into my prayer, even when my words fall short, when tears soak my words, when my heart doesn’t know how to express my needs.
As I sat in queue that day, impatiently waiting for my chance to work out my problem with an operator, my thoughts were turned to a Father Who loves me enough to allow access to Him at any moment, through any crisis, during any situation. Then I thought of how often I overlook that sweet hour of prayer, those days when I am just too busy to seek out my Father, when bitterness and anger crowd Him out, when it is I who places Him in queue.
Thank you, Lord, for the gentle reminder that even before I call upon You, You will answer, and before I am done speaking, You hear.
Isaiah 65:24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.
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