Many of us in the Young Adults group are at a stage of life where we’re looking for what God wants to do with our lives. Whether we’re in college wondering what comes afterwards, working and wondering how the Lord wants to use us, waiting to be married and wondering how that will play out, or just feeling like our life hasn’t “begun” yet, it can seem like there are a million options, and which one should we choose?
One of the things I think the Lord wants to constantly set before us are examples of people who are allowing him to use their lives, so we can see how this actually works.
Today I wanted to highlight a family of friends who offer a picture of how God might lead. I met Rob and Mel in church a few years ago on a Sunday morning. (I’ll avoid using their last names and some details here for security reasons.) They were driving over an hour to Calvary because they couldn’t find good teaching near their home. In a few months we became friends and God started weaving our lives together. For a while they were part of a prayer group that met at our house to pray over missions and God’s will for all of our lives.
Here’s how their story goes. Rob is a mechanic for exclusive types of vehicles. He was working at his job and seeking serve Jesus with a wife and a daughter when the bad economy led to the loss of his job. The next move was for him to accept a position with a company in Iraq for a year–it meant being away from his family, but it was what God provided and so he took it. When the year was over, it had given him and Mel an enlarged vision for serving Christ all over the world.
They had been interested in missions for a while, but had never really seen how God might use them to go. But now Rob had realized that there were open positions for his kind of work all over the world. So they thought, why not go take a job over seas, and use it as an opportunity to be missionaries? I remember conversations with them where they said, “We always figured you had to be sent out and paid to be a missionary, but now we realize, if we’re serving God where ever we go, why can’t we take a job somewhere and focus on serving the Lord all the same?”
So that’s what they did. Rob got offered a position in Columbia, and they took it. The three of them moved down there with all the focus of missionaries. Already, in their short time living in Columbia, they’ve actively sought out and found the work God’s doing and the other Christians He’s using to do it. They’ve become heavily involved in the work with orphans, as well as the local church. Now they actively care for orphans, work in orphanages, preach the gospel, distribute literature, and the list goes on. Recently they sent an email with some updates:
“Our message of this hope, is being given here to the many children who feel that all hope has been lost. They, even more, rejoice greatly, when the Holy Spirit opens their eyes to this glorious truth! They are NOT fatherless, they do have a family, they can be reconciled to God…despite their pasts…what great news indeed for us all! Praise be to God for this precious gift we have, not to hold only for ourselves, but to share with all we may encounter!…Some of the difficult things we witnessed in the past month was the utter desperation in the children to be a part of a family & share love. It is heartbreaking, because there are so many & it is impossible to love them all in an intimate way ourselves. Many people right here, are completely unaware of this tremendous need in their backyard! We have felt a growing desire to make this known & ask you to join us in praying that the LORD will continue to make a way for this. The men leading this ministry from the states & those here in Bogota, desire greatly to unify the body in an effort to give these children a chance to be raised/discipled in a Christian family. We are also praying about how this may happen, and what part God desires us to hold in this.”
It all reads like a total missionary newsletter. What’s my point in sharing all this with you? Just this: The call of God does not always come like a flash and a voice. In fact, it almost never does. It comes as we allow our hearts to be soft towards Him, as we allow Him to lead us into obedience in all the small matters of life, as we let His word direct our hearts upward and to bigger things than simply “usual” life, and as we seek to put into action what we read in His word. Obedience in one area leads to open doors in another. A heart after God goes in the direction of God’s work. You find yourself actively doing all kinds of things for the Lord. The next thing you know, you look up, and you’re right in the middle of God’s call on your life.
So really, we should never view any part of our life as “just waiting.” At every stage, by the minute and by the day, our God is working in us and through us “both to will and to do His good pleasure.” Our part is to cultivate our aliveness to Him. What is He doing, in you, today?