49: Voicemail from God

49: Voicemail from God

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope & Miracles

Voicemail from God

Everything that occurs in your life is part of God’s plan to wake you up.

~Leonard Jacobson

The bus was cold. The temperature outside was, in fact, at least ten degrees below average for early November. Being a local TV weatherman, those kinds of statistics were often in my thoughts, but at the moment I was trying to forecast my own personal future. A week earlier, my boss had called me into his office to give me the standard line: “We’re going in a different direction.” Simply put, I was being replaced, just like that. There was no public announcement, but I had a month to figure out my next move, and I had no idea where I was headed.

It was a short bus ride back to the TV station from downtown. During a break between the morning and midday newscasts, I had visited the office of a former co-worker, wanting to pick his brain about his life since leaving television. I had often thought about changing careers, and though the conversation with him had been informative, I wasn’t sure the time was right for me to enter a new line of work. Even more confused than ever about my prospects, I stared out the drizzle-soaked window of the bus (at least I got the forecast right) and remembered that old saying, “When God closes a door, He opens a window.” Well, there certainly were no windows opening for me. I half-prayed in my mind—God, help me!

Arriving back at the TV station, I grabbed the latest computer printouts from the National Weather Service and sat down at my desk to update my weather maps. The red message light on my phone was blinking. Looking up from the papers, I punched in my voicemail code. “You have one message,” the electronic voice told me, “sent today at 10:14 a.m.”

I listened as a female voice I had never heard before timidly spoke over traffic noise in the background. She sounded like she was at a payphone. “You don’t know me,” the voice said. “We’ve never met.”

I sighed. Another weather fan, I guessed. I listened as the woman cleared her throat and continued. “I was on the bus a little while ago and saw you.”

Get to the point, I thought. She did. “I don’t know if you’ll understand this or not.” She hesitated. Then, apparently gathering courage, she blurted out, “God told me to tell you that He holds your future.”

The caller suddenly had my undivided attention.

She went on. “He says everything’s going to be okay. So . . . that’s it, I guess. I just wanted you to know. Bye.” And then she hung up.

I stared at the phone for a few seconds, dumbfounded. Impossible! How could this woman know? Did God really speak to her? Was this some kind of sick joke?

Even as I asked the questions, I sensed that I already knew the answers. It certainly didn’t seem like a joke. And why couldn’t God speak through others? After all, I had asked God for His help. (It may have been a half-hearted prayer, but here was a whole-hearted answer.) Besides, I knew that what this mystery woman said was true. For most of my life I had believed in a God Who knows us intimately, loves us unconditionally, and cares about us individually. I was ashamed to admit that over the past few days fear and worry had caused me to forget how much He cares. I had needed a reminder.

And what a reminder it was. As her words sank in, shock began to give way to peace. Over the next few days, a mountain of fear began to melt away and an ocean of thankfulness took its place. Yes, it was going to be okay. God had told her, and she had told me.

The woman never called again. I would never learn her identity. But now nearly twenty years later, reporting the weather on television in a different city, I often think of the woman’s astounding voicemail message. And I remind myself to never stop trusting the voice of the One Who spoke through her that day.

~Nick Walker

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