In Psalm 13, David asks, “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts …” That was a verse that jumped out at me, as I often feel like I have wrestling matches going on in my head. Anyone relate to that?
My recent wrestling match: callings. I’ve been pondering the Israelites on their trek out of Egypt to the Promised Land. So often I have focused on the story of Moses. He’s one of the great men of faith who followed God on a huge assignment. We can learn a lot from his life and how God orchestrated the details to use Moses for a mighty work. He is someone we see as having a big calling from God.
And then there are the Israelites. Possibly more than two million people who, in the past, I have seen as mostly whiners and complainers who were unable to keep their focus on God for more than a few minutes. But, what about them? Were they called, too? Or do we just focus on the big names of the Bible? Or do I have a tendency to think certain callings are more important, more valuable, more “cool”? (Maybe I need to write some future posts on contentment, comparison, envy and the like.)
Part of my struggle with callings comes from seeing so much need in the world. A team from our church recently shared about a trip to Nicaragua. Most of the homes in one village they visited are probably worth less than the laptop I am typing on. This kind of thing eats at me. I just want to do something, to help in some way. I usually don’t know what I would even do, but I want to know that I am contributing something to the world that goes beyond me typing blog posts in my comfy chair late at night.
So, as I was feeling gloomy and selfish in my comfortable life, I had one of those “aha” moments when reading the end of Exodus. God had just given Moses the instructions for building the Tabernacle. I came across the names Bezalel and Oholiab. Two of those names I usually kind of read over, cause I’m not sure how to pronounce them. Ever heard of them or paid attention to them? I hadn’t. These men were skilled craftsmen and were chosen by God to make all of the things in the Tabernacle. The Bible says of Bezalel, “[the Lord] … has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowlege in all kinds of crafts …” Exodus 35:31 Similar things are said of Oholiab, and they taught others how to use their skills to craft the entire Tabernacle.
So, here these guys are, just working away at their trade, when suddenly they get a pretty big assignment from God. They weren’t really seeking out the assignment, they were just doing their life and God interrupted them. This is really true of most of the people mentioned in the Bible, including Moses. Moses was out herding animals when God spoke from a burning bush. Jesus’ disciples were out fishing when He called them to follow Him. Saul/Paul was doing his job of persecuting believers when God interrupted.
My point is, that I get my focus wrong. I start thinking of all the things I could be doing. Ways I could meet needs or help hurting people. Of course, they aren’t bad things at all, but my focus is on all the other things, what others are doing, how others are helping, on others, on others, on others. My focus needs to remain on God and doing what He has already asked me to do right now.
And God is very much trying to teach me this right now. It is coming up all over the place in my Bible readings, in our Sunday School class, on blog posts I come across very “randomly,” on our Life Group (church small group) discussions, in quotes other people post places.
For some reason, I was reading my brother’s Facebook page and stumbled across one of his favorite quotes:
“It is God’s job to solve the problems of the world. Your job is to walk in humble obedience to what God tells you to do.” – Jon Walker
God is telling me to stop focusing on what He has asked others to do. He’s telling me to continue seeking Him throughout my day. He is reminding me that He knows my heart, He designed me with a purpose, and He will continue to call me in His time.
And just like the seasons changing around me, the gloom of my thinking is melting away and the excitement of new life is blooming again!