Have you ever questioned your “call”? What do/did you do when you do/did?
Absolutely I have, I’m human. I’ve doubted, feared and momentarily regretted at times my call and our calling. Now, these have not been the majority of times but they were some of my moments over the last 41 years of salvation life. In those moments l’ve recalled scriptures (Gen. 50:20 – He is sovereign and makes no mistakes; Ps. 27:1 – I have nothing to fear; Matt. 28:20 – He is with me always and in every difficulty), or I’ll pick up the Word to read it and I take time to pray. And there is always the voice of my DW ever reading me like a book and always positive in reminding me that we are a team, with her determination to trust, obey and take God at His word.
These verses have been an encouragement and support to me:
1Thessalonians 5:23-24 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.
Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
Philippians 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
I think of Paul writing to Timothy, it’s one of my favorite passages:
2Ti 1:3 I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day.
2Ti 1:4 As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy.
2Ti 1:5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.
2Ti 1:6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands,
2Ti 1:7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
2Ti 1:8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God,
2Ti 1:9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,
2Ti 1:10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
2Ti 1:11 for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher,
2Ti 1:12 which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me.
2Ti 1:13 Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
2Ti 1:14 By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.
2Ti 1:15 You are aware that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes.
So I take away a few things:
- Often with a calling comes a spiritual gifting, one that literally and symbolically helps us to overcome. (This is a place where I think prophetic ministry is key.) It is important to remember times where God has used that in us, as well as to look for opportunities to see that stirred in our lives.
- Fight fear with a sound mind – one of power, love, and self-control.
- Remember that the calling is for His own purpose. Whether we succeed or fail, our job is to be obedient.
- Note, I have had plenty of things that I have wanted to do or have been actively doing but I would not list as a calling. It’s important to sort these out and not necessarily cling to things that aren’t something He’s called you to. Recognizing this can be painful.
- Remember that suffering is a normal part of our work.
- Remember that the pain of lost fellowship is a normal part of our work.
- But also balance this with Jesus’ promise:
- Mar 10:29 Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel,
Mar 10:30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.
- Remember that other great heroes of the faith have struggled with this, too. (e.g. Elijah being dejected, John the Baptist asking if Jesus was really the one in prison) However, that does not give us a free pass and we often can do something about it: “guard the good deposit entrusted to you.” Of course, this is easier said than done – I don’t think that simply “believing harder” is quite what we’re supposed to do. But watching our thoughts and the inputs to our thought processes can help. Similarly, choosing to be thankful and to praise God (singing helps for me, especially when I really don’t want to) both exercise our faith and can help set the stage.
These things – hard though they be – have encouraged me.
The next chapters are great, as Paul continues to write to Timothy about how to take care of business.
Talk with your spouse. It’s important for them to know how you’re feeling. Then you can struggle together rather than it being a hidden, festering pain.
In recent months, I have began to question whether my wife and I should serve together in the youth ministry. I don’t know if I feel “called” as much as we’re serving as youth leaders because no one else is. I enjoy doing it, but I don’t want to do it forever. The issues that arise between DW and I can sometimes be overwhelming and don’t make the service joyful…and I know I’m not there to fill my own heart, but minister to the youth, but I’d like the time DW and I spend together to have some worth for our marriage. My calling is music…that’s the gift God gave me to use. Sometimes my DW will try to give her input when she has no musical training or “gift” so to speak. I typically smile and say nothing, but in my broken, sinful, human-ness, I end up saying something like, “if you want to give me advice, maybe you should join the ministry…I think sometimes the best thing to do is shut my mouth and let it pass…God has me where He wants me.
My questions run more along the lines of “What is our calling?” I am the more reflective of the two of us and constantly trying to define and explain and categorize life. He is more of the “be nice, don’t do wrong, just keep swimming” mindset. (I joke that I’m Nemo’s father and he’s Dory, except since my car accident, I’m the one with sucky short term memory. 😛 ) Since I can be too reflective (read: stuck in my own head), we balance each other well. We don’t, however, end up with well-defined goals, mission statements, or a family calling.
Sadly, I’m not sure I can say I really studied or listened for the HS’s guidance on this as much as I should have and eventually just moved on to the barrage of other new things to wrestle with. Life’s “in box” always seems to overflow. I guess I just gave up and mostly tread water.
Not sure if this is what was meant by this question…
I don’t question my call currently, but I have wondered if because of poor decisions in my youth I have missed my call. However, though, I believe in the goodness and sovereignty of God. He knew what I’d end up doing before I made any wrong decisions.
I often questioned being a SAHM so that my husband could pursue his chosen career, which meant 60 hour work weeks for him for the past 30 years. Being a SAHM in a new community meant a lot of isolation for me (and I’m a very social person) and despite people telling me I was a ‘good mom,’ I didn’t really believe it. I found it very boring most of the time, to be honest. It got easier when the kids were all in school, but it was a struggle for me, for a variety of reasons. They are all adults now, though we still have one at home that will always be with us. I don’t have any particular scripture, but the lessons I’ve learned in areas of patience, selflessness, and grace are lessons I could never have gained at any job and which I thank the Lord for.
Actually, I do have a verse: Proverbs 17:6 Grandchildren are the crown of the elderly
I’m not elderly, but I do believe that my grandchildren are my reward!