He is a career missionary in a third-world country. He and his wife could have made it big in business in their first-world home country, but, "We had a calling."
What is a calling? "An external call that comes from God that is for others."1
"When we first went, we took a couple of suitcases and slept on cement floors...but we were happy to do it because, "we were doing it all for Jesus."
Recently, they've faced expulsion from a country that would "end" their life work (of course it would carry on in so much as they have been depositing Kingdom seeds into people). Thousands of dollars have been spent on visa acquisition that has required extensive travel and marital/family separation.
"How are you with all of this?" I asked.
"It's fine", He said. "I've decided that there will always be waves, but that I'm not going to look at the waves. I'm going to look at Jesus, and I'm going to keep doing my calling." Wow!
Clearly this man was referring to Peter, who stepped out of the boat in faith to walk on the water to Jesus.
What do you do with that story? Do you admire Peter's courage and faith? Do you snicker that He began to sink? Can you identify with his desire and temporary success after getting out of the boat?
Do you have a calling that seems to be riding on the ocean swells of life? Are you waiting for the ocean to calm, or are you keeping your eyes on Jesus and doing what He has given you to do?
Interestingly, just last night I dreamt extensively about taking White's Ferry across the Potomac River to Virginia (a short cut to a section of northern Virginia since there are relatively few vehicle bridges in the area). Interestingly it was quite a long trip in my dream (in reality the crossing is about 10 minutes).
In the dream I just about didn't make the ferry. I was the last one aboard the last ferry of the day.
Then, my car, a little red 2-seat convertible (now I know it was a dream) was dangled over the side of the ferry by a hoist and cables because there wasn't room on board. Next, the crew served a meal to the passengers, but forgot to serve me. Finally, the weather turned life threatening with 15 foot swells as if we were in the ocean. My car was dipped into the water and barely saved. The ferry threatened to capsize but didn't. Finally, we made it safe to the other side. Hmmm...
An otherwise great night of sleep ended with an exhausting adventure...but I wasn't exhausted; not in my dreams and not in real life. Why not?
In my dream I prayed through the race to board the ferry. I didn't let adrenaline take over, but rather trusted God, "I'm doing my best to get there. If I make it, great. If not, I'm sure that it will work out for good."
Next, my car dangling. "It's just a tool for transportation, Lord. I know you will provide what I need."
Then to food, and I was hungry..."There's none left, sir. I'm sorry we forgot you." Oh well, again, He will provide. Maybe I didn't need that meal. Perhaps He has one for me that will be even better. Besides, you are the bread of life and living water. Help me to continue to partake of you during this journey and I know that I won't hunger or thirst."
Finally, the waves. "They look ominous, Lord. Will you save me?" silence, but a voice, "To live is to do my will, but to die is gain and to be with me." Ok.
Eventually, the ferry reached the other side. I disembarked. Off to continue in His calling.
The way of the Cross is definitely not easy. He didn't promise that it would be, but He did promise that He would be with us, that He would never leave or forsake us, that He would provide all of our needs, and that it would all work out in the end...All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose...and, to live is Christ, to die is gain.
Have you been called? yes. all are called to something in service of the King. If you don't know it, know that it can be discovered.2
Are you serving in your calling? No matter what?
Remember, there will always be waves...
1 Tony Stoltzfus in Coaching Life Purpose, available at www.coach22.com.
2 Life Purpose coaching focuses on discovering, articulating and living one's calling.
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