A few months ago I went to an ATM near our office to withdraw some money. I placed my card in the slot, entered my PIN and then saw the words – “Temporarily Unavailable”. It was a bit shocking . . . I mean isn’t the entire function of the ATM to dispense cash? Sure – you can also make deposits or check your balance, but I assume the majority of people who are in need of an ATM are in need of some money.
And as I sat there for a moment, I began to wonder. What if in our time of need the Lord was “Temporarily Unavailable”? But more than God being unavailable, how often are we temporarily unavailable to Him? How often is He knocking, and we are busy doing something more exciting, more interesting, more important? Think about this past week and how many times we were unavailable to hear His voice. Do we pretend not to hear our spouse calling from the other room, or look at our phones and choose not to answer a call from someone we do not feel like speaking with, or ignore a request from a child because we are in the middle of something?
We miss those simple opportunities to be temporarily available for someone else. Someone who needs us; someone the Lord is sending to us. This concept is emphasized in Matthew 25:31-46 when our Lord says “…for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in …” Christ makes clear that ignoring the needs of someone is like being temporarily unavailable to Christ Himself. “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.”
May we remember these words and at the final judgment may our Lord be available to say to us “Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you”.