“The one who calls you is faithful, and He will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).
In December, I began my 16th year of writing this weekly column. I look back over those years and many things have changed. My husband, Dave, passed away. At his visitation a couple came up to me. Hugging me they said, “We feel like we went through this journey with you.” And because I wrote about it, I guess they did.
My son, Ethan, graduated from college. I changed jobs from being in charge of children’s ministries, which I loved, to becoming a chaplain, which I love.
I remarried and moved to a farm where I’m in charge of livestock. Well, mainly a stray cat or two. Feeding and petting. It’s a calling.
The last two summers I planted a garden and I put down roots. Those roots have grown deep. They’re a part of who I am. Even though I know that one day the Lord will uproot me again, the roots that I’ve established here will stay with me wherever I go.
“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him’” (Lamentations 3:22-23).
We’ve all heard sayings like: “If God calls you to it, He’ll get you through it.” There’s a promise in that quote. God is faithful. He doesn’t set his people up for failure. He doesn’t call someone and then abandon them. In fact, it’s the opposite. If we answer his call, he’s with us every step of the way. It’s his strength that gets us through, not our own. That’s why some people do things that seem way beyond their capabilities.
That’s why I’ve been able to write this column every week. It’s not that I’m great. Far from it. But the Lord I serve is. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He calls us to places we would never have the courage or the vision to go. He opens doors we don’t know exist. We go through them with him and then he leads us through other doors.
He’s with us every single step of the way. I know it’s true in my own life. And we see the same thing time and time again in the Bible.
Look at Gideon in Judges, chapter 6. He’s quietly threshing wheat in a winepress as a way of hiding it from the marauding bands of Midianites when an angel of the Lord appears to him. “The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor” (Judges 6:12b).
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Gideon doesn’t feel brave or mighty. In fact, his knees are probably knocking together in fright the whole time he’s secretly threshing. Yet, the angel calls him a “mighty man of valor,” because that’s who God’s calling him to be. And with the Lord’s help, that’s who he becomes.
After he’s instructed to save Israel from the Midianites, Gideon admits the truth. “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house” (verse 16).
A common theme throughout the Bible and in life is that God doesn’t use the mighty, he uses the ones who appear to be the least. We look at the outside appearance, but the Lord sees the heart. He knows that the shepherd boy, David, will become King of Israel, a man after his own heart (1 Samuel 13:14).
David made mistakes in his life. Big ones. Lusting after a woman who’s not his wife, he could have chosen to walk away. But he goes back up on that roof for another eyeful. Eventually, he sleeps with Bathsheba. She becomes pregnant. David brings her husband home from war so that he will have relations with her and therefore believe he’s the father.
But being an honorable man, Uriah doesn’t think he should enjoy his wife while his men are fighting. So David sends him to the front of the action, where he’s killed in the fighting. Sounds like a soap opera, doesn’t it?
The Lord sends Nathan to David to tell a parable. In the end, Nathan tells David that he’s the bad guy in the story. David realizes the terrible sins he’s committed and he repents. There are consequences to his sin, but the Lord forgives him.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
The Lord calls Esther “for such a time as this” to save her people from annihilation (Esther 4:14). She’s not just another pretty face. Esther loves the Lord. With her Uncle Mordecai’s wise counsel, and after prayer and fasting, Esther obeys the Lord’s calling on her life. By her actions, her people are saved.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
What is the Lord calling you to? Don’t be afraid. Don’t hide in a winepress. The God of Angel Armies is faithful. He’ll lead you and guide you every step of the way. Just surrender to him and ask him to be the Lord of your life. And then “be confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).
Kathy Yoder is a devotional writer. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.