When God calls he has prepared the way
The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”
But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.” – Jeremiah 1:4-10
God equips us to do the work for which he has called us. Even though we may complain and try to find excuses why we cannot, he has prepared the way for us.
Scripture tells us that God visited an old man whom he had appointed to a very important task. This man, even though he had all the qualifications to do the work, kept making excuses.
This man was Moses, who, at the time was 80 years old. Moses had been a prince in Pharaoh’s palace, receiving the best education affordable in Egypt. He had been very prominent in Pharaoh’s army and particularly close to the throne of Egypt.
Therefore, he had the qualifications to lead. Furthermore, he had spent 40 years in the desert as a shepherd, learning patience. At age 80, he was very well qualified for the work God had for him to do.
In the text, God called Jeremiah to a special task. Jeremiah was quite young at the time, probably between 19 and 25-years-old. When God called him, like Moses, he too had excuses why he was not able to do God’s will. God silenced him by giving him all the tools that he needed to do the work,
When God calls us, he removes all the obstacles which may impede us. Therefore, our excuses are simply not good enough reason to get out of doing God’s work.
I can give a personal testimony of this. When I got the “nod” to attend seminary, I was working as a banker, and quite comfortable in my profession. I was earning a good salary with health insurance and the likes. My children were in private school and they were happy with their life.
Then, I got a call to attend seminary to prepare for the sacred ministry. Like Moses, and Jeremiah, I too had excuses. My first excuse was, I was too old; the second, I would not have any health insurance coverage for my children and me; the third, my children would not be able to attend the type of private school to which they were accustomed; and the fourth, I was not sure that I would have the finance to pay tuition.
These were some of the excuses that I verbalized. But then, amazingly, God took care of all of my concerns. He changed my perspective and gave me the courage to resign from my job of 22 years and to apply for entrance into seminary.
After applying for admission, and being accepted, I subsequently requested financial assistance. The seminary granted me assistance, $3,000 more than I expected. Then, I was worried about housing. I could only afford rent of $300 per month. A house that I had looked at was offered to me for $300 per month.
When we arrived in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where the seminary is located, we were greeted with good news. A friend had arranged for my two children to attend a private Lutheran high school for only half the tuition for each child.
Obstacles after obstacles were falling away. None of my initial concerns were of any consequence. Even health insurance coverage was not a problem. A doctor who attended the church to which I was assigned made an offer to treat my children and I, medically, free of charge. By the grace of God, we never had to take him up on his offer. We never got ill.
When God is sending us, he prepares the way for us and takes away any obstacles that would impede us.
He did it for Moses. He did it for Jeremiah, and he did it for me. He will do the same for you.
Therefore, don’t be afraid of the challenge of doing God’s work. God has equipped us. He guides us and he will rescue us when we stumble. Yes, when God calls, he has prepared the way. Amen.
• Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at The Lutheran Church of Nassau, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas, or telephone: 323-4107; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: www.Nassaulutheranchurch.org.