After 45 minutes listening to dramatic pauses and well-placed Scripture references, I was ready to sign up. My elbows propped against my knees my chin strained forward as if I could hear the words faster if my face was closer to the stage. Every word fell in its rightful place and my heart became all twisted and stretched and then I heard this question,
"So, who will go to Africa this summer?"
The blood pumping inside my veins forgot its course and all rushed instead to my nodding head. "Yes," I was saying with the almost hypnotic up-and-down-motion, "Yes, I will go to Africa this summer."
I walked up with a mass of young, eager-to-change-the-world collegiate types and we all affirmed one another's calling to serve in Swaziland the following July.
I left the meeting exhilarated and ready to tackle the problem of practicalities. I called my parents and my joy bubbled over into our phone conversation, only tempered by their advice to pray and be cautious.
Days went by and the emotions wore off. Both gradually and suddenly as I prayed, I knew I would not be going to Africa and I then met a fierce dragon called doubt.
If the Lord hadn't told me to go to Africa, then who? If I was pursuing the Lord then why the mixed signals? Was I so far from God that I couldn't even discern His calling?
A mess would describe the spiritual struggle of the following days. I was so confused and frustrated with myself for being controlled completely by emotions, as it seemed. Then, in a conversation with my dad that I will never forget, he gently spoke these words,
"Sometimes, Caroline... sometimes God just wants to bring us to the point where we say we are willing. Whether you go or not doesn't matter as much as how ready your heart is to do whatever the Lord asks. You were willing to go and God saw your heart."
I rolled those words over in my mind for days, really hoping they were true. I questioned and wrestled and arrived at the conclusion that our pursuit of God is not dependent on His answers. My pursuit of God is not on pause when I receive an affirmative or in high speed when I'm waiting for a reply. God calls me to a constant, passionate pursuit of Himself and promises (regardless of my progress) He will be faithful and He will be sufficient.
As Isaiah, I hope I will respond to every call with, "Here am I. Send me." Even if the call doesn't amount to the movement of my feet, I pray I will be willing.
sometimes we are just called to be willing to
let LOVE FLY like cRaZY