Our church was given an excellent new-to-us phone system this week, thanks to a wonderful young family in the congregation whose business got a phone system upgrade. On Tuesday, a nice couple came to install the system for us. I had no idea that telephones could be so complicated! The physical installation wasn’t too bad – really, just moving wires from one PBX box to another; the phone jacks remained the same. But programming the phones was a bit more work!
The advantage of this new system is that separate voicemail boxes are available for general purposes and for confidential messages for me. (And, as an added bonus, the * and # keys on these new phones work!!)
The system can be set up to allow it to answer every call, but because we’re not exactly an administrative hub of activity, I set it up so that we’ve got four rings to answer it before the system picks it up. And if someone happens to be on the phone when another person calls, the old voicemail system will still take a message.
This got me thinking: God has no need for voicemail. Isn’t that great news?
Occasionally, someone will tell me how impossible it seems that God could hear everyone’s prayers all at the same time, all over the world. And that’s a good point: to us, it seems impossible. For us, it would be impossible, even with a more complicated phone system than the one I’ve just outlined. Why? Because we are finite: we have only so much capacity to receive information at a given time. But God is infinite.
It is God’s infinitude that allows him to be able to do things we would find impossible, like hear the prayers of people all over the world at the very same time. But because God is infinite, he can do this, and we can be confident that he hears our prayers: “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear” (Isaiah 59.1, NIV); “Know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord will hear when I call to him” (Psalm 4.3, NIV).
So rest assured that when you cry out to God in faith, he will hear you. And in his time, he will respond with what is in your best interest, from an eternal perspective – no voicemail required!