“How do I call Jesus? Does He even have a phone number?” my five-year-old asked.
I laughed, “No, Jesus doesn’t have a phone or a phone number.”
“Well, why not? How am I supposed to talk to Him? I can’t even see Him.”
“I guess His phone number is praying.”
“That’s not a phone number, silly Mama,” Daniel laughed.
If only he knew what I know about calling that phone number.
Immediately I was taken back to our 1898 sanctuary as a teenager, pouring out my broken heart to God. So many nights I would sneak my dad’s church keys and let myself in. I sat in that dark, creaky church and told God my secrets, my struggles, and my fears. I dialed that phone number a lot at that age.
Then I was in China, serving as a summer missionary. The military confiscated our passports, accusing us of being spies and stirring up trouble. They threatened to take all our supplies and throw us in jail if we didn’t tell them the truth. We were terrified. For hours we hit our knees and prayed for God’s protection. God also prompted my dad, who was across the world, to dial that phone number at the same time we did and pray for our safety. God heard our desperate pleas and soon our passports were returned, and we were free to go.
My mind then jumped to my late twenties. Broken over sins I had allowed for way too long, I was on my knees on the front porch, tears so thick I couldn’t see. I was running from God and had been for almost a decade. Finally, confronted by a friend, I had to take the chance that God wanted me, my mess and all. Darkness hung in the sky that night just as it had covered my heart for quite some time. As I poured out my brokenness to Jesus the clouds overhead, and the ones over my heart, both pulled back to reveal a sky with the brightest stars I had seen in years. The phone call that night brought hope into my broken world and changed everything in my life.
Fast forward a few years and I was up all night with our first son. Exhausted. Weary. I stripped Carter down to only his diaper, covered him with cool cloths, desperate to get his fever to break. David and I took turns rocking him, holding him, consoling him. Tears dripped down our cheeks as we desperately called on Jesus to intervene and heal this little one who was so sick. On nights like that, I’m grateful for the direct line straight to Jesus, knowing He always takes my calls.
Five years later, our second son, Daniel, was diagnosed with RSV and we were sent to the emergency room. For three days we stayed with him at the hospital and watched our five-month-old fight to live. He struggled to breathe, didn’t want to eat, and laid around with little energy. Oh, how we prayed, asking God to let us suffer instead of him. On the third day, he improved and we know it was because we called Jesus in our time of need.
Two months later David, Daniel, and I contracted the flu. For a week, I was too weak to get of my chair, and other family members brought Daniel to me so he could nurse. One night during that week, my heart had an episode of tachycardia. I was dehydrated, nauseated, and feverish and ended up passed out on the bathroom floor with a heart rate of 225. As my awareness came in and out, I remember begging God to save my life so I could come home and take care of my family. Oh, how I clung to that phone number all night long.
Then four years later, sitting by the fire pit, tears freely flowed down my cheeks. My husband had cancer and there was nothing I could do to make it go away. Treatments, scans, doctor’s appointments, and Covid-19 were all giants in our path. Indescribable fear gripped me as I cried out to Jesus. But the more we talked, the calmer I felt. His presence was all around, and peace flooded my soul, all because I chose to dial His number when I needed Him most.
The Only Combination We Need
“It is a phone number, Daniel,” I replied with a smile. “It’s a line that is never busy, the connection is always good, and there are no fees attached. We come as we are, and He always answers, no matter how big or how small our prayers may seem. And the way He answers shows just how much He really loves us.”
“So, Mama. I think I know what Jesus’ phone number is now,” Daniel smiled. “It’s just, ‘Dear Jesus’.”
“Daniel, you are exactly right.”
One day my little Daniel will understand how important that phone number truly is. One day when life gets too big. One day when circumstances are out of his control. Then he will dial that number. The one straight to the heart of God. The one that is the lifeline of our soul. The one with the only combination we need: hitting our knees, folding our hands, and pouring out our hearts.
Take the time to dial that number today, “Dear Jesus…”
© Christy Bass Adams, 2021
All images from Canva