God Calls Us –
The Call of God is His own vision and purpose for our life. It is not merely to utilize us; rather, the call of God envisions our life in its entirety, in it wholeness. Hence, the call of God relates as much to the way we behave, relate, rest, recreate, etc., as to the way we do specific acts of ministry.
We need to grasp the whole of God’s call and not just some performance related dimension of the same. In doing so, we can learn to live our whole life in the sacred. Which is to be understood as a life that is ‘set-apart’ for God. It may be difficult for us to grasp that God takes pleasure in all the aspects of our life. However, He is interested in the fine details of our life as we live it.
God Takes Us –
The people who are called by God are taken by Him to be made in His image and likeness. In that process we get to become what God wants us to be. The best of our natural talents and the finest of our qualifications are only raw materials in the sight of God. Our abilities, talents, and qualifications need to be processed by the Holy Spirit in the painful furnace of life experiences.
All those moments when we feel unused, under-used, misused, misplaced, wrongly placed, not considered, etc., are steps in the process of being made the person God wants us to be.
God Keeps Us –
The world is notorious for utilizing people and then when they cross the threshold of utility and monetary value are forgotten or discarded. God is, on the other hand, more concerned with us than what we can do. This can be realized by us when we understand that God is calling us to be with Him. He wants us. He wants to keep us forever. He cherishes us.
The heart of God’s purpose concerning us is intimacy and fellowship. And there is no substitute for that. No number of hours put in labour for God’s kingdom, no amount of money spent in His name can ever be a substitute for intimacy and fellowship with Him.
God Gives Us –
God chooses to give His servants (whom He has called, molded, and cherished) as per His own sovereign wisdom. A common aspect of this truth in different life stories is that God leads us to places that we are naturally not inclined to take. Francesca Lodi-Cabrini had decided at the tender age of six that she wanted to be a missionary to China. As she grew us, let alone serving overseas, she found it difficult to enter into the vocation of the church ministry because of her ill-health and frailty. She did not give up and she did become a nun. She kept on trying to go to East, to China, the land of her dreams and vision. She worked hard in all that she was directed. Finally, when she was considered to go overseas the church posted her to America, a place near New York. She set on that voyage, burning for ever her lifelong desire to serve God in China. She did not lose her heart of service though, and did an exemplary ministry. By the time she died in 1917 at age 67 – she had founded more than 70 hospitals, schools, and orphanages in the US, Spain, France, England, and South America.
We may think East and God may choose West for us. We may desire a particular vocation and God may place us in some work that we do not like. We may have to burn our good and worthy desires in the path of obedience to Jesus Christ. But that is the beauty of this mystery of being used by God for His glory.
(Inspired by Isaiah 42:6, ESV)