“What is your gift to the family of God?” It was our first time attending this church and I had just been introduced to this woman. My answer, of course, was profound.
“Ummm…I…ummm…to raise my kids?” She looked at me like I was from Mars. I was mortified. What a great first impression!
That was many years ago. Last week, I would have said, “My calling is to write.” However, I would have left out that it was a vigorous ride on an emotional roller coaster.
I encountered numerous technical difficulties (which are not for the faint-hearted) in setting up a blog. I’d tell you how I handled it, but then you’d hear about the threats I made to my computer…along the lines of flying out the window…and I don’t want you to think I’m crazy for talking to an inanimate object.
There’s the constant battle of numbers. Ugh! When my number of views and followers increases, I’m on cloud nine – fulfilled in my calling; but when they decrease, my heart sinks. I thought I could fix this by setting up new accounts on more social media sites, but I ran into more technical difficulties and didn’t have time to maintain them. I learned about search engine optimization (SEO), guaranteed to increase traffic to your blog…if you can figure it out…which…I never did.
All this affected my prayer life. One day I would pray, Lord, I’m so frustrated! I’ve hit one brick wall after another. I feel like I’m failing You.” Other days, my prayer was, “Jesus, thank You for Your presence and Your words today!”
Finally, I said, “Lord, You don’t want me on this roller coaster. Help me to see what You’re trying to show me. All my “callings” – as wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, etc. are extremely important to me. When I fail in any area, I try harder. I’ve written out plans and schedules to make sure I don’t miss anything, but…nothing goes according to my plans. What am I doing wrong?”
I read Romans 11 (ESV). I saw it – the answer in verse 29! “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”
A distinction is made between gifts and calling. According to Helps Word-studies, the word for calling (singular) is “klesis” which means a “summons” or “invitation.” The word for gifts (plural) is “charismata” which means “grace-endowments.” What I saw as “callings” were gifts.
Jesus described it in Matthew 11:28 – 30 (AmpC), “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.”
There is no failure in this calling. John 15:5 (AmpC) tells us why: “I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.”
I had it backwards. I thought I had to produce fruit, which caused me to be focused on…me. That’s where my frustration and the heavy burden came from.
His burden really is light. He’s called me to come to Him, so my focus will be on Him. I live in Him and He lives in me.
What is the practical application of this? Each day, in each situation He brings me to, I come to Him and His wisdom, love, strength and everything required is supplied by Him. What peace, rest, and joy this produces within me!
Dear friends, if you find yourselves carrying a heavy burden, come to Him. If He’s done this for me, He’ll surely do it for you.
I am wife to Daniel, a truly noble man; mom to three adult children: Mandy, whose heart is purer than anyone I know – she is married to Jesse, who is an amazing husband and father and they have four incredibly sweet children; Derek, who has the gift of cerebral palsy, the heart of a warrior and a high calling; and Hannah, who has the gift of autism and whose heart and life are filled with God’s love and grace. I am so blessed!