You Are Called
I've never been all that sure about my calling as a pastor. I know it sounds odd, but it's true.
Someone once told me that was a good thing. They told me that if I was too confident, too sure of myself it would mean that I would lose my sense of vulnerability, which they told me was infinitely more important than any measure of self-confidence.
There's so much truth in that, but it's a hard truth. And that hard truth has been painful to swallow during difficult seasons when what I've longed for more than anything is to be sure.
Several years ago, and late one night, I found myself lying face down on the floor in the Sanctuary of the church I was serving at the time. I was tired inside---tired of conflict, tired of feeling inadequate and ill-equipped.
I prayed like I had never prayed before to be set free from it all. I begged God to let me go, to release me from the burden of the calling. I wanted to do something else, anything else.
I knew that I wasn't good enough. I knew I didn't have it in me any longer to keep getting knocked down, and having to get back up again. I wanted to stay down.
I left that night full of fervent prayers that God would send me some kind of sign that I was released from whatever calling had been placed upon me. I was tired inside, broken and feeling lost and alone.
And then a strange thing happened.
Over the next several days after that night, I felt like my eyes had been opened to signs and wonders that had been staring me in the face all along, but I'd been too blind to see them.
There were encouraging emails from church members past and present... a handwritten note that came in the mail unexpectedly... a surprisingly loving visit from a parishioner who had been painfully critical of me...
I recently read this quote from Bob Goff that made me think about that season of my life once again. He wrote:
It’s important to know what to look for when we feel like we’re falling apart, because God doesn’t often send what we think we need. [God] sends what [God] knows we need.
What I discovered then is that in my vulnerability I was able to feel more intensely and see more clearly just how God had been working all around me, in me and through me. I was set free, but not in the ways that I expected to be set free.
I also realized that calling is something that happens over and over again. It's not a "one and done" kind of thing. In fact, we are all constantly being called into God's purposes for us. And not only does God send what God knows we need, but God also never stops sending it.
The signs and wonders are all around us, we just need to be open enough to see them... broken enough to let the light in... lost enough to be found again.
God is calling you today, and every day to live into your best and most abundant life, to be your truest self. If you are feeling unsure... if you are wondering and doubting... if you feel a bit lost... take heart. You are right where you need to be.
May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.