Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Phone

Yes, it’s true…I really did flush my cell phone down the toilet.

Of all places, it happened at a funeral reception. I was helping at church that day, so the phone was in my pocket when I went to the restroom. I looked for somewhere to set it, but didn’t see any options.

I know what you’re thinking, and no, I was not using the phone—no calls, no texts, no Facebook, I promise—when I entered the stall.

The phone just flipped out of my pocket. Plop! The sound of it hitting the water registered before the sight did. I stood there for a second in disbelief before instinct took over, and I reached for it.

Too late! The auto-flush toilet was already sending a cascade of water. Before my hand could make contact, the phone was gone. Not just drowned and no longer functioning, but the phone had actually made the turn in the toilet’s plumbing and completely disappeared.

I really hate those auto-flush toilets.

There was absolutely no way to retrieve that phone, and pointless even if I could. Was I bummed? Oh, yeah. It wasn’t that my phone was all that cool. It was actually a hand-me-down. But it had numbers stored that I had collected for years. I won’t even know which ones I lost until I need them! Plus I knew how my phone worked. I’d had it for quite a while, and navigating its functions was second-nature. Like an old friend, it was comfortable.

What’s more, as the Director of Children’s Ministries a phone is one thing I absolutely have to have on Sunday mornings. Since this happened on a Saturday afternoon. My husband and I raced to the nearest Verizon store as soon as the funeral reception ended. I walked back out the door with a brand new iPhone.

iPHone for the phone

This thing is amazing! It has a weather app, so I can see what the weather is like in the Midwest where some of my kids live. The maps app has a built-in gps system. And it’s an iPod, too? I cannot wait to figure out all the cool stuff it will do!

While I would never have wanted to lose my earlier phone (especially in such an inelegant fashion), I love, love, love my new iPhone.

Sometimes, we have to give up what is good in order to receive what is better. This applies to things a lot more important than a cell phone. It might be a relationship, or a job, or a dream. Whatever it is, it has been a good thing in your life. Losing it may not be your choice, but getting it back is not an option.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose  (Romans 8:28).

When the reality of loss settles in, do we truly believe this verse? Not just in an intellectual way, but in a practical experiential way? Times of loss test what we believe. When we lose something good, there is normal human emotion involved. But there is also a choice:  are we going to trust the Lord in this circumstance? Are we going to trust that what His word tells us is true is far more reliable that what our emotions tell us? As my senior pastor would ask, “Are you going to think with your faith attached?”

Too often in my life I only realized all the good that came out of those situations as I saw it in the rearview mirror. What I’ve seen is deeper trust and greater hope in the Lord, and a greater reliance on His word. Sometimes, I’ve clearly seen that God actually took what was good, and replaced it with something even better.

Gotta’ go now, my new phone is ringing.

…We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us  (Romans 5:3-4).

Further reflection

  1. What is something that you lost and wish you could have back?
  2. Where do you see God at work in that loss?
  3. Pray and ask God to show you the good in it.

Father, all that I have comes from Your hands. Please help me hold on to You more tightly than I hold on to anything else. Help me treasure You, and the truth of Your word, the most. I want to see Your goodness at work during, and not just after, loss. Help me to offer You the praise You deserve, for You are the giver of every good and perfect gift.


  1. You write the best word pictures! Thanks for this great lesson of God's goodness.
    P.S. I love my iPhone too! Don't feel too bad--I've washed my phone in the washing machine twice (in pre-iPhone days).

  2. I think flushing it in the toilet beats Eric dropping his in a glass of iced tea! It's so hard to see the good to come in the future. I wish I knew what lay ahead so that i felt more secure about giving up the now.

    1. I hadn't heard about Eric's adventure with iced tea--awesome!
      It sure can be hard when we don't know the future, especially when there has been pain in the past. The one thing we can hold onto are the promises God gives; to be with us, that His plans are for our good, and that He loves more than we can fathom. It doesn't mean there won't be hard things in the future, but it does mean we can trust His faithfulness in the midst of them. Thank you for your honest sharing.