I’ve spent a lot of my life trying to chase God’s calling for me. Learning how to hear and interpret his voice. Taking the opportunities I feel God has placed in front of me. Continually seeking what’s next and being open to doing things outside of my comfort zone. There’s this wonderful joy and adventure in stepping out into the unknown, trusting that God will equip me, provide for me and give me the courage I need to fulfil what he’s called me to do. I love living a life open to God’s interception. There’s something both frightening yet exciting about it.
I had one of these crazy God-interception moments recently where I suddenly found myself in Hawaii working as a nanny. Had you asked me about it just a week earlier, I’d never have said that I’d end up there. My sense of adventure was totally tantalized and I was eager to see what this little two month excursion would hold. Because of this I had to put my study and other commitments back home on hold but I didn’t really mind because that’s what trusting God is, right!? Following him even if it doesn’t make complete sense.
I was amazed to see how God provided everything I needed in Hawaii, from my living expenses and flights right down to bedsheets, towels and clothes. (I had arrived there on the way home from a family holiday with almost nothing.) It was an incredible time of feeling like I was in the right place. I was where I was meant to be.
The family I was nannying for were doing a YWAM Discipleship Training School. Half way through they’d be going on an extended outreach to another part of the world and I was asked if I’d like to join one of these teams. It was exciting to consider what time for me as I looked at the opportunity of going to either the Philippines, Mexico, Uganda or Norway and England.
I spent much time praying and asking God where I was meant to go… but nothing. There was no word, no sign, no indication that I was to go to any of these places. My calling to Hawaii had been so clear but now I wasn’t feeling anything. It was hard to accept that God didn’t want me to go as I watched these people who had become family head out on new adventures.
Instead I returned home to New Zealand to begin study once more – a little disappointed but nonetheless excited to see family and friends again.
Less than a month after I returned, my Nana unexpectedly passed away. It was crazy to think I could’ve been in the Philippines or England. But I had come home and had made precious memories with her before she was gone. Memories and time I’d missed out on had I not listened to God’s non-call and gone on outreach anyway. Home was where I was meant to be.
I must be a slow learner because God is constantly reminding me that his ways are better than mine. Why do I find it so hard to believe this and continuously want to do whatever it is that I want to do?
Although it’s important to recognise when God has called us to do something, I’m now learning it’s just as important to recognise when he’s not calling us.
For me, not being called ended up being just as important and significant as if I had been. It’s a hard and courageous thing to accept God’s non-callings but I know that God has a far better idea of what’s best for me than I do. It’s about following him even when it doesn’t make complete sense.
What do you do when God tells you what to do? What do you do when he’s silent?
Think up a practical way to submit your trust to God once again. And do it. Now.