What are you “called” to?
What is your reason for being…today, this hour?
It’s a question that hearts all over will beg to answer. I’ve heard this cry from my brothers and sisters in Christ as they look to His specific plan for their summers, their college choice, their marriages…It’s a question asked by those who don’t know Him just as often as it is asked of those who do.
We all want a purpose. We all, in our heart of hearts, want to have a calling of our own.
Some callings are universal. Like the call to love and to worship our Creator. While others are designed just for us.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
:: Psalm 139-16 ::
I am utterly convinced that my calling is to worship and honor the Lord by honoring his image -bearers. This means that I will stand against injustice and oppression. He has burdened my heart with the fight against human trafficking. This is my specific calling and He is the strength, the driving force, the accomplish-er, the boss…behind it all.
Part of this calling means looking for practical ways of working toward the goal. So….a basketball tournament – a 4 on 4 tournament where participants will pay an entry fee that goes toward an amazing, non-profit who shares the love of Christ by rescuing little girls in India. This was my practical calling in working toward the call to justice.
Now, this is where the rubber met the road and I realized that not everyone felt “called” to play basketball for several hours on a Friday night. And I had to be ok with that. Was I discouraged when it was a week before the event and no teams had registered? You’re darn tootin’! Was I discouraged when it was the night before and I didn’t know if we’d have enough to teams to play? You betcha!
BUT (don’t you just love it when bad news is followed by “but”?!) the Spirit was at work, providing encouragement all around me. He spoke through my parents who said countless times, “It’s going to happen. He is faithful.” and through friends who drew from the word saying, “He is compassionate, gracious, loving and always faithful. He’ll come through in ways you’re not expecting, Manda.” (Psalm 86:15)
So, there I was, on my bed at about midnight the night before the tournament right in the middle of asking God what I was doing wrong, how I had failed Him in orginizing this event and what I could do to make it right (sounds pretty awful, huh?). Since I couldn’t sleep, I checked my email looking for some encouragment from the sweet friends who were praying for tournament details.
This is what I found in my inbox.
“Hi Manda! I hope you’re doing well and not stressing out. This will probably sound harsh, but I’m praying that even your best efforts will fall flat and that your idea of success blows up in your hands so that your weakness will make way for His glory and grace.”
Gee thanks, sweetheart.
Here I thought my friends were supportive and come to find out, they’re praying this?! No wonder obstacles seemed to be popping up like a self-defeating game of whack-a-mole.
BUT (there’s another glorious but) in hindsight, I’m beyond grateful for this prayer of hers. Friends who pray for your way to be easy and painless have kindhearted intentions. It’s those friends who pray for your sanctification though…those are the ones loving you with “Clavary Love”.
I sighed a big sigh, let some tears of conviction break through and gave up on being the one with the effort. My heart said, “FINALLY!” and I knew that my Abba was just waiting on my surrender. Peace flooded in and I went to sleep willing to accept that it might not happen and that He’d still get the glory.
So, what happened?
Back to story time. What ha’ happen was…. 🙂
The tournament did happen. And not only did it happen, it happened bigger and with more volunteers than the year before! We’re talking, “more than I could ask or imagine” here folks. (Eph 3:20)
What did this look like?
This looked like teams coming in the night of that we weren’t anticpating, having an abundance of sweet volunteers who were oh-so-flexible, lots of community members hearing the Good News, the generation of white-haired disciplers being there to lead by generous example, an amount of financial support going to fight human trafficking, and my favorite gift from Him that night…a precious young lady bravely sharing her story with me and allowing me to tell her about Jesus’ love for her.
Talk about Him blowing up my best efforts and my ideas of success!
His grace and His glory were all over it.
God is so good. Always!
May the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
:: 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 ::