Calling. That’s become quite a word for us hasn’t it? A buzzword, if you will. The sad thing about buzzwords is that when we give them buzz, they lose their original meaning. They lose weight. They become things that we can toss around like pillows and not care about the significant thud they make when they land on our hearts. Calling means so much to us, yet we take so little time to respect it’s gravity. Pillows can land hard on us (in fact, I lost my first tooth in a sleep-over pillow fight). They may be easy to toss around and hold, but does that change the sometimes jarring effect they have on us. Similarly is calling. We can run around with that word all day, and it won’t make us tired. Only when it hits us hard – when we lose a dream, when our paths take a different course, when it doesn’t work out the way we believe it would – that we understand that it can truly cause some anguish.
Calling has been a word for me. It’s been a “thing” if you will. Kind of like when I chopped all of my hair off after the wedding and my short hair became a “thing.” Don’t you hate it when hair becomes a “thing”?My point is that it is something that has been a constant for me – in thought, in conversation, in action. I am always thinking of calling, the way that I aimlessly run my fingers through my hair and expect it to keep going, I expect calling to just… make sense one day.
But maybe we’ve been looking at “calling” all wrong?
“Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Pslam 37:4
We all know this one, right? We can all find this verse on a wood-painted sign at any given neighborhood Christian bookstore. This verse is familiar. And if you’re like me, you’ve viewed this one in a context: “Take delight in the Lord and He will give you a strong strapping man to love you and cherish you for the rest of your life.” Or maybe another context: “Take delight in the Lord and He will give you that promotion” Or any other context in your life of something you want. Fill in the blank “Take delight in the Lord and He will give you [fill in the blank].”
I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with this gathering from scripture, I am not you and I cannot discern what God says to you when you read His word. That being said, I heard this verse in a different context recently. Thank God for His body, and His children being obedient to His word.
In September of this year, I attended Common Thread: A Day Away, an awesome women’s event put on by my dear friend Shannon Scott
. There, everyone’s favorite worship leader, Christy Nockels, led the day in worship and shared a bit during a session. She shared about her life as a worship leader, songwriter and mom, and the balance she was trying to find within all of that. She was the first to share about a different context of this verse: “Take delight in the Lord and He will give you His desires
I’ve been reeling ever since. For so long, we pointed the arrow of this verse towards ourselves. We have believed that if we just loved God enough, served his people, read His word, sang His songs, that He would eventually give us what we want. How backwards our view! All of scripture’s arrows point back to God. What a revelation to see that by pointing the arrow at myself, I am forgetting the basic principle of the Gospel: I don’t have to do anything to earn God’s favor, that happened on the cross.
What happened when I pointed the arrow at God for this Scripture? Freedom. Because from now on, the responsibility does not lie with me – no, the responsibility lies with God, and he cannot be faithful the same way that the oceans cannot move with the tides. God is faithful, therefore, God will give me the desires of my heart. He will give me the desires. He will present them to me. He will plant them in me. What freedom!
Now, does this discount the fact that we can still go to God with our desires, and hopes and dreams? NO. This simply means, that for you and me, as we flounder about with our calling, we can trust that God will give us the desire He wants. He will give us the desire to stay, or go. He will give us the desire to abandon what we thought was the right path. It will come from him.
Does this mean we just sit around and wait for him to just impart us with all wisdom once day? As we’re sitting at our desks, that a cloud from heaven will appear and a golden idea made to look like a dove will just flutter from the sky and land on our minds? NO. We continue to press forward in what we know He has already called us to.
The next few verses in Psalm 37, I think, lay this out pretty clearly:
“Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.” -Psalm 37: 5-6
Commit your way to the Lord – Commit all your ways. Carry out His purpose for you – to make Him famous, to make disciples, to glorify Him in all things. Entrust him with your life – your job, your classes, your relationships, your day-to-day. Entrust it, commit it all to the way of the Lord. And then…
“Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him” Psalm 37:7
Woof that’s hard. To wait patiently for something you feel so desperately that God has called you to. To wait for days and possibly years for something to come to pass that you need to do so critically. Forget the age of now, and remember the age of the Psalmist. It took David what some scholars believe was 15 years in between his anointing from Samuel to his reign over Israel.
Can we believe God like David did? Can we believe that He will anoint us at the proper time? Can we wait and wait obediently? Can we wait to move when God moves?
“but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.” Isaiah 40:31
I have seen first hand. I am a witness to God’s faithfulness and it makes me weep at His goodness. I have seen the value in the waiting. I have asked for God to show Himself faithful, and He always does, ten-fold.
Our calling will be found when He gives us the desires of His heart.
I have found a new freedom in saying, “I will move when God moves. I will go when He says. I will wait for His desires.” Let’s believe that today. Let’s not sit passive while we wait, but let’s pursue the heart of God as we wait for his desires to become our desires. Let’s be active and unafraid. Let’s be open-handed and faithful. Let’s let God fill our hearts with His desires, as they will become our own. Let’s press on towards our calling – to take delight in the Lord, and to wait patiently for Him, and to celebrate His faithfulness when He comes through.