The Persistent Call

What do I do now?  How shall I live the rest of my life?  Those are the questions that can arise when something changes your life circumstances.

Culture and politics can suddenly change things, leaving you feeling like an exile in a foreign land.  That literally happened to the ancient Hebrews.  Their enemy defeated their army, destroyed their cities, and deported their leading citizens by the thousands to Babylon.  Resettled in a foreign land, they faced tough questions.  Jeremiah sent them an encouraging letter.  “Build houses and live in them; and plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and father sons and daughters…Seek the prosperity of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord in its behalf; for in its prosperity will be your prosperity” (Jer. 29:5-7).  Their calling was to live their lives, trusting the Providence of God.  They did, and God restored this exiled community to their homeland.  Their descendants witnessed the birth of a child called Immanuel, a fulfillment of their calling as a people.

Your calling in life does not change with your circumstances.  For the believer, life’s seasons come and go but your ultimate purpose remains.  Through you “God is love” comes alive to people you encounter.  Through you, God’s kingdom comes and His will is done on earth as it is in heaven.  Through you, the afflicted are delivered from evil.  Through you the broken are restored and the lost are found.  Through you, things that are true, honorable, and lovely are seen. You are one of God’s fellow workers (1 Cor. 3:9), a high calling indeed.

Someone asked a dear saint I know, an invalid octogenarian, what motivates her to wake up every day.  She replied, “Friends, family, and the world still need my prayers.” Her circumstances changed, but not her calling.  She rises to this occasion: “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer” (Rom. 12:10-12).  We share that calling with her.

If you are searching how to fulfill your calling, think about what moves you, what you enjoy, or what your skills and experience are.  Then consider what is missing you can contribute, what is broken you can restore, or what is evil you can resist.  Find alignment there, and you’ll find fulfillment.  Theologian Frederick Buechner wrote, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

What do you do now?  Cherish friendships, invest your life in people, and wherever you go, take an awareness of the presence of God.  He restores and redeems.  He draws people to Himself.  And He calls you to share in that work.

Lord, I pray thou forever wouldst see, thy calling ever persisting in me.