By Carmen Aguinaco
Have you ever been asked to help out with something and then left to do the task alone without any help? This never happens with God.
Have you ever been asked to do something that seemed impossible? Do you feel unable to do it because you don’t have the skills, age or the abilities considered necessary? This almost always happens when God calls.
God always calls and he does so in many ways. Not all callings are the same and some are even difficult to recognize. But when He calls, God promises to always be present to support the mission he has called us to do. This biblical promise is a guarantee that, no matter how weak or limited the person called seems to be, he or she can always count on strength much greater than their own: the strength of God.
In the Bible we find many cases where the people called, according to human expectations, appear to be less than adequate to fulfill the mission. Here are some examples:
Abraham. He did not even believe in the one God when he was called. God tells him to leave his home and country. In exchange, He promised to give Abraham an immense number of descendants (the curious thing is that he was already an old man… how many descendants could he really have at his age?) But God promised to be with him, and Abraham believed and had faith. And he left his country.
Moses. After having been educated as a prince in the pharaoh’s court, Moses had to leave the palace because he was faced with the abusive behavior of the Egyptians. As he is peacefully caring for his father-in-law’s herds, the voice of God tells him to get his people out of slavery. Moses stutters and not just anyone can go face-to-face again with the Egyptians. But God promises Moses that He will be with him, and Moses believed and had faith. And he led his people.
Deborah. She was a prophet and judge of Israel. God asked Barak to lead his people in battle against his enemies and Barak refused to go unless Deborah went with him. Deborah was a woman and at the time, women did not serve in the military, much less go out to battle. But Deborah believed and had faith. And she went with Barak.
Samuel. He was a little boy who studied in the Temple. One night, he heard a voice that was calling him several times and he finally said: “I am here, Lord. I am listening.” God promised to be with Samuel and was put in charge of leading his people. And Samuel believed and had faith.
Isaiah. He feels unworthy of God’s call. He feels impure and without enough strength. But when God asked, “who shall I send to relay my word and justice?” Isaiah believed and responded: “I am here, Lord. Send me.”
Jeremiah. He was another prophet who was barely a child when called. Jeremiah considered he would not know what to say when God asked him to go out and be his prophet. When Jeremiah claims that he would not know what to say, God told him that he would put the right words on his lips. And Jeremiah believed and followed the calling.
Mary. She was a young woman engaged to marry Joseph. One day she heard the announcement that she would be Mother of the Savior. It was impossible! She was not married, much less been with a man. But God promised to be with Mary and cover her with the shadow of the Spirit. And Mary believed and accepts. Through Mary’s ‘yes’, God was able to come to the world.
Simon and Andrew. They were two brothers fixing their fishing nets. Just two humble fishermen when Jesus called them to a greater mission. Rugged men with little skills, they trusted Jesus and dropped their nets to dedicate their lives to Jesus’ mission.
We could go on with many more examples of people called to follow God. Age, gender, physical impediment or education did not appear to be an obstacle because what seems impossible for normal people, God uses to shine and manifest his power. It is not always easy to respond, but the result from our response and discipleship always ends up in a good done to others. It bears fruits that seem impossible—and they would be without the call and action of God—in the people called. And if this is God’s action, can there be an excuse not to follow?
What limitations do you allege so as not to respond to the call to action you have been feeling for a while?