In the first quarter of the year, I had the opportunity to pray for a good friend who was in a journey of pursuing God’s particular calling. She believed that even as a child, it was God who placed in her heart the dream to become a lawyer. While I was happy and amazed by her testimony, at the back of my head I was asking myself why God hasn’t revealed to me a specific calling yet. All I know was that I wanted to tell stories — apart from that, everything’s pitch black.
I welcomed 2018 with hopes of continuing my career path in the travel industry. I thought I know where I’ll focus my attention on. But even before I can begin to embrace this dream, the doors were already shut.
Last Thursday, a friend of mine from the media tagged me along to a musical concert of renowned Filipina broadway singer and actress Lea Salonga. She was celebrating her 40 years in the industry. To my shock, I just found out that she started her singing career as early as 7 years old.
Another question dangled over my head, how could these people know their calling at such a young age? I wondered that time if I’ve missed any signs that could’ve led me to know where I should be today or if it’s already too late to be good at something. There I was with the audience, staring in awe of Lea Salonga’s gift of music. Both amused and confused, I contrasted their fate against mine. These people are so sure of what they were made for while I’m still at crossroads.
In the process of receiving good gifts from Him, we limit our joy when we try to reason out and understand everything that God is doing.
When God told me to stay and be still this year, I responded ‘yes‘ to Him with a lump in my throat. When God told me that He was doing a new thing this year, I somehow took it as a warning rather than something to be excited about. When God brought people closer to me this year, I’ve constantly doubted if it was all worth the time and the emotion. When God gave me new opportunities, I never ran out of things to whine and worry about.
You see, it is a tug of war with God most days. I’m pretty sure you’ve had moments like these, too. There are so many things that He has blessed us with yet we would always question its goodness. In the process of receiving good gifts from Him, even when we don’t see how good it is yet, we limit our joy when we try to reason out and understand everything that God is doing. But it doesn’t surprise God when our faith slips.
One morning, I wasn’t sure where to begin my quiet time with God. It was as if I’ve already told him everything there is to say. That day, I simply ran out of words. Nothing meaningful has happened recently and my mind was blank.
I thought I was entering a season of spiritual dryness. Even as I studied the Bible, nothing pierced my heart at the time. I was about to close in spontaneous prayer but the Spirit led me to pray Psalm 29 and 30 out loud. Then I was prompted to count every single blessing that I’m enjoying right now. I could feel God’s hand touch my lips so I may speak adoration of Him that morn.
“My timing for you is right. You are where you should be right now, at this exact spot with Me,” God whispered. What happened next broke the perceived drought: I found myself weeping in awe of God.
We’re all training for some purpose — some race to which we have been called or have yet to be called to.
Over the past few days, I went back to reading a Christian book about ultramarathon. It revolves around Hebrews 12:1-3, presenting the readers fascinating analogies between God’s race and an ultramarathon race. Pastor Ferdie Cabiling, running pastor as we call him, wrote about his journey to pacing across the Philippines and raising support for underprivileged youth. This initiative was called Run50, his 50th birthday celebration for a cause.
In his autobiography Run, Pastor Ferdie wrote something about his experience, the calling of God, his preparation and cause, that has prophetically encouraged me about God’s vocation set for us. It says:
“I’d been training for this particular run for three years, but in a broader sense, I’d been in training for much of my adult life. I had not worked out the particulars of what all that training was leading to, but in time, the course fell into place. We’re all training for some purpose — some race to which we have been called or have yet to be called to.”
Pastor Ferdie had more reasons not to pursue running. At 50 years old, he could’ve conveniently told God that he was incapable, weak and unqualified for the call. He could’ve ignored the vision that God had placed in his heart. He could’ve asked God, “Why now? Isn’t it a bit late? Isn’t this too ambitious for someone like me?”
But even the foolishness of God is wisdom to man (1 Corinthians 1:25). What seems impossible to us is possible by God’s grace. Romans 8:30 says “And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.“
All my hanging questions were answered and once again, I’m glad that I was wrong. I rejoice at being broken by God because He always turns my insecurities into a burst of praises. It doesn’t matter if we start young or old, or if the calling seems simple or grand. As long as God is in it, it is of eternal value. The confidence we have is not in our timing nor our abilities. Any God-given vision will lead us to our purification and God’s glorification. (Philippians 1:6)