I checked out Your Call is Waiting by Terry-Anne Preston from the Northridge library and it has blown my mind.
It’s a wonderful read about discovering your personal calling. However, what stood out to me the most was the idea that sometimes we are called to wait.
Wait a minute, waiting is a calling?
Yes. Yes, it is. God sometimes calls us to wait. And sometimes we don’t quite get it. We want to be ‘somewhere’, doing ‘something’. But often we overlook the opportunities God has placed where we are. God puts us in places for a reason. Even if we have absolutely no desire to stay or no understanding of why we go somewhere, God has a reason.
“Many of the examples of calling experienced by biblical characters testify to the fact that God prepares his people over many years. Moses spent forty years in the desert before seeing the land that God had promised him. Paul had to wait three days as a blind, fasting man before God set him free for a purpose. Even Jesus had to wait thirty years before being able to exercise his unique ministry, a ministry that lasted just one tenth of the time he waited. In each case, God took time to prepare the individual and the situation to which he was called” (96-97).
Moses spent 40 years waiting on his promise from God. Jesus waited 30 years to begin his incredible ministry. Jesus had to wait. If the son of God had to wait to fulfill some of his calling, I’m pretty sure that we have to wait sometimes too. And God can and will use this time to build us up and strengthen us for the road ahead. It’s a necessary step.
But that doesn’t mean we are good at it.
“So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?” He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:6-8 NLT, emphasis added
Even the disciples struggled with waiting. But God holds the power to set dates and times, not us.
We have to stop and think a moment sometimes to really process the power that God possesses. He made us. He made the world. He is above all. It’s quite mind-boggling actually.
“It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.” – Jeremiah 10:12, ESV
God is sovereign. He rules over all creation. His timing is perfect and sometimes we have a hard time truly understanding that.
“Sometimes it feels as though little is happening. We feel as though we are in a rut. Life can become routine. But somewhere, somehow in the midst of even the most boring day of washing and ironing, paperwork or simple inactivity, God is at work. We may not see him. We may not understand what he is doing. We may not always feel his presence near us. But he is here, and we must cling to the truths of scripture, rather than our feelings, expectantly waiting for him to call us” (103).
I think we all experience these down times. I’m currently experiencing a ‘low.’ My life in Chile was full of incredible things. I grew so much and learned so much about myself and my identity in Christ. Coming home has been difficult. I’m living in a relatively comfortable place. And life is more routine. I go to school, go to work, volunteer, hang out with friends. Rinse and repeat. It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut in the routine. It’s so easy to stop trying to grow spiritually. And I’ll admit, some days I do get stuck. I feel like I’m in limbo. Not growing. Not backsliding. Just existing.
But we can’t be stuck there.
“[B]ut they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31, ESV
“Wait for theLord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” – Psalm 27:14, ESV
“Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.” – Psalm 37:7, NLT
God will strengthen us when we need Him the most.
We also shouldn’t run away. The story of Jonah illustrates the possible consequences when we run from our calling. (See the book of Jonah if you’re not entirely sure what happened).
“Being called away is not the same as running away. Running away, as Jonah discovered to his cost, is seldom helpful. Even when situations become incredibly difficult or painful, we need to stay and work through the issues until such time as God calls us to do something new. Simply being frustrated with our job, our church, or our ministry is not sufficient reason on its own to leave. We need to ask ourselves: ‘Where does God want me to be?’ and ‘What does God want me to learn in the present circumstances” (100).
God has a reason for placement. He places us where we are for a reason. Do we always know why? No. We don’t. And sometimes that’s more often than we like. And sometimes we wait. And most of the time that is difficult.
But sometimes that is our calling.
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” – Romans 12:12, NIV
Be strong, my dear friends.
God is with you.