“Hel-loo?” I called into my cell phone. No one was there. At least I couldn’t hear anyone.
I was driving my daughter to karate, the traffic was awful, and she had the radio up. It was hard to think, let alone hear anything, but I wanted to know who was calling. It was the fifth time this week this unknown number had appeared, and I’d answered it only to find no one there.
“Probably a wrong number,” I said over the noise as we pulled up to the studio. Kara jumped out and ran inside. I hurried to the grocery to buy something to make for dinner. My son, Ben, and husband, Joe, were coming home late from baseball practice, and we needed something quick. The kids had lots of homework, and I had a meeting. Tonight was certainly hectic, but it had been like this for a while. This week seemed particularly overbooked, and I was worn out. We were always coming and going, doing God knows what. Everything seemed so urgent all the time.
Just then, my phone rang.
“Hi, Jenny,” I said, recognizing her number. She was a friend from Sunday school. We used to go to lunch every week after the service.
“How are you?” I asked, happy to hear her voice.
“Things are great!” she said. “I’m calling to see if you all would like to meet for lunch on Sunday. It sure has been a long time.”
“Oh, I wish we could, but Joe will be out of town for his conference, and I am swamped getting ready for our yard sale next weekend,” I declined. “I gotta go, but let’s get together soon, okay?”
In the last several years, going to church took a backseat to all the other stuff our family had to do, so Jenny and I didn’t see each other anymore. But I certainly didn’t have time to catch up now. I raced to find a parking place and dashed into the supermarket.
Halfway through the bakery aisle, my phone rang.
“Never any peace!” I muttered to myself.
It was the unknown number again. “Hello?” I said, but no one replied. “Please stop calling me,” I pleaded. “I’m very busy and don’t have time for your interruptions.” I wasn’t sure anyone was there, but if so, I hoped he’d get the message.
Later, after all the tasks for the day were done, I crawled into bed. Kara was in for the night, and Ben was at the movies with friends. Exhausted, I turned on the TV to unwind while I waited up for him. I needed rest. Tomorrow it would start all over again.
“Give me a break!” I scowled as my phone rang.
“Sorry to bother you, but this is Officer Hart. Your son was in a car accident and is at St. Luke’s Hospital. Can you come right away?”
In no time, Joe and I were on our way. I was panicking. Fears and uncertainties swirled in my head. I felt helpless as usual, only it wasn’t worrying over errands and scheduling. This was real.
As if from nowhere, a thought came to me. It was a Bible verse Jenny had shared with me years ago, and it used to comfort me when things were overwhelming.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” I prayed. By the time we arrived at Ben’s room, I was calm enough for whatever we faced.
We were thrilled to discover that Ben only suffered minor cuts and scrapes. He’d be released in the morning. Joe went home to Kara, and I was staying overnight with Ben. As I curled up in the chair feeling thankful and at peace, I decided the yard sale could wait. I’d call Jenny in the morning and meet her at church. We were going to start making time for the important things.
Just then, a text arrived in my inbox. It was from the unknown number.
My eyes focused in amazement as I read, “Phil. 4:6-7 Can you hear me now?”
“Yes, God,” I answered in prayer. “Thanks for not giving up on me. I’ll be listening from now on. Call anytime.”
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