“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord!” ~Habakkuk 3:18

It’s a long drive between Amarillo and Henrietta. A looooong drive. What kept me occupied for the first hour or so of my trip yesterday were the 151 text messages I had received during and after our sermon here at Central. Kasey Love’s was the very first text I received with the inspirational words from Habakkuk, followed in order by Arlene, Stephanie, Andrew, Keegan, and then 145 more. Not everybody signed their names to the texts; those made me wonder. Some of the messages were horribly misspelled as the senders were obviously in a race to get their text to me first; those made me laugh.  All of the messages were from the holy Word of God, sent to me by my brothers and sisters in Christ, in an exercise I hoped would get us all thinking about the same thing.

We all sent the message to different people, none of whom were in the building at the time. I’m assuming there were close to a thousand people who, at about 11:15 yesterday morning, received these encouraging words from Habakkuk on their phones. I’m praying those texts prompted dozens dozens of conversations last night and today among co-workers, classmates, relatives, and neighbors. “Why did you send me that text?” “What did that text mean?” “Why were y’all doing that at church?” I’m hoping our people are telling their friends today that no matter what happens, we can find great joy in knowing our God who saves us.

“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord!”

I’m hoping that at 3:18 this afternoon, more of those texts will be flying around. I’m hoping we’re all going to be reminded every day this week at 3:18 that we serve a God who has always delivered us in the past and, therefore, will always deliver us in the present and in the future. I’m hoping we’ll encourage each other with these texts. I’m hoping we’ll remind our friends that we’re praying for them. I’m hoping people will be reminded to pray for one another. And for me.

I’m looking at these names on my phone yesterday as I’m traveling south on 287: Trey. Olen. Michaela. Michelle. Scott. Amber. Tiffani. Hannah. Jake. Matt. Larry. Adam. Glen. Mike. Erin. Chris. Cameron. John. Bethany. Bradley. Jared. Tanner. Tammy. Kelly. Tim. Kim. Teri. Melissa. Lori. Monica. Lonnie. Spencer. Gary. Ashlynn. Billy. Royse Anne. Karen. Ashley. Joe. Lowery. Judy. Erica. Lisa. Laura. Robin. Greg. Francis. Lachelle. Leslie. Rodney. Michael. Tommy. Connie. Robert. Wayne. I’m praying over every one of these. 151 of them. All of them dealing with something pretty heavy, I’m sure. Each of them carrying a weight, bearing a burden, yet declaring that they will rejoice in the Lord.

“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord!”

Then at 3:18, about ten miles north of Vernon, another round of texts: Marli. Wayne. Becky. Winslow. Jeff. Lanny. Steve. Miles. Scott. Lots of others.

I’ve been told today that at 3:18 yesterday, phones were going off everywhere, flashing and beeping what I believe is the strongest statement of faith in our Scriptures.

“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord!”

I don’t know what our God is doing this week with our little text exercise. I’m not sure how he’s going to use this to his glory and praise. I’m hoping these texts and prayers will strengthen us. I’m hoping we’ll be encouraged and our faith will be renewed. I’m hoping we’ll be united as one family, together in our meditation and application of this rich passage. I’m praying we’ll be comforted in our trials, we’ll be steeled in our resolve, and we’ll be given great hope in our Savior.

“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord!”




  1. Becky Kelley

    great lesson! hope you are not texting while you are driving….Remeber Alex Brown Foundation (look it up)

  2. Casey Cooper

    I wasn’t at church on Sunday, but my wife and I each received a text at 11:15 on our way back from the mountains. Later that night, we heard about the 3:18 alarm idea. I want to thank you for issuing this challenge….it’s been a great reminder to me each day to be grateful to God. Very cool idea!

  3. Allan

    I’m still getting four or five text messages every day at 3:18. People here at Central are telling me their “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord” alarms are going off in the middle of doctor’s appointments, during temper tantrums thrown by their toddlers, at stressful meetings at work, and during arguments with relatives. Not to mention Monday’s funeral. I’m beginning to think that 3:18 is just a really bad time of day…

    …or that we all belong to a very loving and gracious Father.

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