I think I just might possibly be one of the only Americans left without a smart phone. How do I survive some of you might ask? Easily…very easily. Now I do have a cell phone in which I receive voice mail messages, and last year I broke down and entered the texting world. My daughter was twelve years old at the time and persuaded her prehistoric mother to ‘get with it.’ Learning to text from her was somewhat laughable, as all I could see were her fingers flying out words in a flaming frenzy. ‘What if I want to capitalize something??’ I asked my preteen tutor. I can still hear her exasperated sigh as she lamented,..’Grammar doesn’t count mom.‘
I beg to differ. Words are so very colossal, and the way we present them is equally as critical. This is a lesson that I myself was recently reminded of, in the most blessed and beautiful of ways…
‘Please enter your pass-code, then press pound.’ That is the drab electronic prompt I receive in trying to retrieve my cell phone messages. Now there are days that I have a few messages, as I am not so consistent with checking them. My husband gets irritated as he reminds me of how I never answer my phone. Of course, I am learning that it helps to charge it as well! But I happen to be going through a bit of a health issue right now and have been more dependent on that phone than ever. I was indeed annoyed to discover last week that my electronic prompter and I were having a disagreement, as she would not budge in letting me check my messages. Oh, I gave her my correct pass-code alright, but she would only come back with her redundant and pesky command…Please enter your pass-code, then press pound. At least she said please.
My phone was broken like this for a few days and I wondered if I was missing calls for MD appointments and such and I let it bother me. I would have Grant deal with the phone!…
And so last week I was on my way home from an appointment I had in a town called Monroe. It was an area that I rarely go to, and I was not familiar where things were. The neighborhood seemed a bit patchy to me as I found myself perusing the many small strip malls as I drove by. As I came upon one such area, there was a sign for a Sprint store that caught my eye. The turn was coming up immediately and so in I went. This was not on the errand list, but I remembered that I needed to get my phone looked at. I had to be sure I even had it with me!. I recall being a bit apprehensive to stop and almost turned around to leave. After all, this wasn’t on MY agenda for the day. But that thought quickly left as I parked the car and went in.
There was a very pleasant woman who greeted me at the door. She directed me in and told me who to seek help from. As I stood in line, I noted that she kept looking at me, as if to try and place me somehow. Finally she spoke up again, in front of customers and co-workers alike…’How is it that I know you? I just know that I know you? Do I look familiar to you??’…She was very friendly with her inquiry and I felt that she might have looked familiar too, but I could not place where from. I see so many people in my line of work. I told her that she possibly could know me from the hospital. Now we were very near the hospital in Monroe, but that is not where I work. As soon as I told her that I was an ER nurse in Matthews, her face completely changed. At first I could not tell whether hers was a look of joy or contempt. As the gentlemen at the counter called on me next, I looked over to see her face welling with tears. Oh boy…I pray I was good to her!!.. I thought. As her coworker attempted to diagnose the problem with my phone, I watched her step away from the counter and come around to my side. He left for a moment to call on another for help with my phone, and that is when she motioned me to another side of the store. She grabbed my hand and looked directly in my eyes and said..’It was you, It was you.’…
She went on to share of a very painful and difficult time in her life in which she sought our care in the Emergency Dept. It was at just about a year ago to the day. I remembered the exact day, because it was my wedding anniversary and my husband and I agreed to meet after I got off for a dinner date. I even recall grumbling in my spirit a bit for working on this momentous day. Ah…we are so entitled at times! As she spoke of her ordeal, the memories came flooding back to me as well. She was there with her sister, and she was in a place of complete hopelessness and despair due to her circumstances. I knew that she needed the Lord Jesus Christ, as He is the only true source of hope and joy for all people. Circumstances will break everybody. This life is utterly hard in so many ways. We are to put no lasting hope in this world or the things of it. I do proceed with caution when discussing the things of God at work, but there comes a time when we all must put courage to our convictions. No job is worth missing the opportunity to plant seeds for the Lord. Some seed falls on rocky and thorny ground, and dies off immediately. Other seed may take hold initially, but then dies off as the winds and storms of life hit. But some seed takes firm root, and produces a bountiful and lasting crop…a life forever changed for all eternity. Our call is to place some seed and not ponder and toil over the outcome thereof. God’s word is that seed. He is the one who provides it, and He is the one who protects it so that it can grow and flourish.
As we both stood in tears, she shared of how she remembered my prayers for her, and she told me how strong she had become in her faith since then. I sometimes give patients a book called ‘More Than A Carpenter’ by Josh McDowell. It is loaded with powerful scripture and shares of who the Savior Jesus Christ is. She had been reading, and she beamed as she said she reads her Bible all the time now. My heart was full to overflowing. There is nothing that I, Deanne Nelson, could have said to this precious woman as she was broken in her pain and anguish a year ago, but God’s word had the power to transform and heal her life. The Bible changes people from the inside out. There is no other word like it. I have people say to me that they are ‘not in’ the whole Bible thing. How sad to surrender the greatest hope and power given to us in this life…God’s very words of love, guidance, and instruction. To be without it, is to be lost. …Hebrews 4:12…For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
This woman had found hope in the midst of her crisis, and was now living life. She looked absolutely beautiful and was doing so very good. I would have never recognized her as I saw her in such a broken state, and I certainly never would have found her in my own efforts. She told me it was like an angel had come in to the store that day, and I felt the exact same way about her. Yes, we had the best kind of appointment marked for us at that moment, and we had no part in making it happen. Sometimes if we get too caught up in the worries and chaos of this life, we miss such appointments…the ones made by God above. He is the perfect navigator. He knows your exact agenda and schedule and He needs no GPS, smart phone, or apps to get you where you need to be. He only requires a seeking and willing heart. You give Him that, and He will use you. He will use your mouth to speak His mighty words of life, and sometimes He will even give you the indescribable gift of seeing some of those seeds thrive. WOW!! Who am I to be given such a gift?? Thank you Lord for showing me such a valuable glimpse of Your awesome power. The Lord knew how weak I was becoming in my flesh, and that I had been giving too much heart to my physical body and the pains I have been currently going through. He lifted my spirits to soaring when He confirmed again that the things we do and say really do matter. Our words really are so very powerful, so we must be careful in choosing them. There are real people with real hearts on the receiving end. You can NEVER go wrong if sharing God’s Word. It NEVER returns void. …Isaiah 55:11...so is my Word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
The gentlemen who was working on my phone returned to say that he was very sorry, but had no idea what was wrong with it. He said he had never seen a phone do that before and they could not figure out how to remedy it. He instructed me to call customer service for more help. I looked at my new friend and we laughed out loud. I told her coworker that I was no longer worried about my phone and all that mattered was that I got to the Sprint store that day. She walked me out as we were still rubbing the tears from our eyes. As we embraced and said goodbye, we both knew that God had imparted a miracle on us that day. He is such a lovely and perfect God indeed.
I am thankful that He can give anyone the right words to say, at just the right time. Ephesians 4:29… “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
Give Him your mouth today. By the way, that includes the words we so feverishly type out and hit ‘send’ or ‘post’ before even considering what we are spewing out…but that is another blog, for another day.
I pray that no readers here will be surprised to learn that my prehistoric cell phone has worked just fine ever since this incident. The messages are coming through again loud and clear. I had been considering an upgrade, but I obviously have all the ‘apps’ I need!
Walk in love.