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Walking across the stage with no where to go

Graduation is four weeks away. Many of us have spent our time at ORU being told to “make no little plans here,” and God has big things in store for us after graduation, but what happens when those big plans have yet to come to pass and seem far off? How do we walk across the stage with no idea what the future holds? Be patient and be willing.

Be patient. I am reminded day after day that what God calls us to do will surely come to be. The Lord will fight for us; we only need to be still. This is so easy to write and read, but it’s hard to actually live this way. We as humans have a hard time being patient with God. It is so much easier for us to take things into our own hands and make our own way. We see where we are and where we want to be and find the easiest path to get there.

God, however, usually doesn’t take us down the easiest path. He likes to lead us through the valley, up the mountain and down again before we finally arrive where we want and need to be. It is in the valley where we learn about God’s faithfulness to us. It is on the climb up the mountain where we learn about God’s strength and power. It is on the top of the mountain where we learn about God’s beauty and grace. It is on the journey down where we learn about God’s will for us.

God doesn’t like to take shortcuts with us. He knows we need the extra time to learn and soak up all the tools we need to fulfill our callings. I have heard many preachers say, “God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called,” but it wasn’t until I started looking for jobs that I realized what this really meant. My resume is filled with all the right experiences, awards and qualifications, yet I cannot find a job. I am qualified for many jobs, but I am not called to those jobs. On the flip side, God is qualifying me to do exactly what I am called to do. He is taking the time to make sure I am equipped with everything I need to fulfill my calling. He isn’t going to send me out unprepared. There is so much joy in realizing that He is preparing me. This delay is God perfecting me to do what He wants me to do.

Be willing. God works best with open hearts. He doesn’t force us to do something; that wouldn’t be free will. Sometimes I like to tell God what to do like I know what’s best for me, but that is my desire to be in control.

I recently reread the story of Abraham and Isaac. God told Abraham he would be the father of many nations, but he and Sarah could not conceive. Finally, they had Isaac, but God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Now, this seems like the opposite of what God originally called Abraham to do. How can he become the father of many nations by sacrificing his only son, his only true bloodline? God was testing Abraham’s willingness. He was asking Abraham if he was holding too tight to his calling or if he really trusted that God could work his calling out of this situation. Abraham was willing. Although he might not have understood what God was doing in the moment, he was still willing to follow His voice and instruction.

All God wants from us is our willingness to let go. That is heavy and hard to do. All He wants is everything, but once we give Him everything, we receive far more than we could ask for or imagine.

Abraham’s willingness led to not only agreat story, but also a long line of faithful men of God leading all the way to Jesus. It looked crazy in the moment, sacrificing the only logical connection to God’s plan, but God stepped in and did what only He could do: provide a way through.

My prayer for the last few weeks of school and in a time of uncertainty is that we all can be patient and willing. May we be patient in the perfecting moments, allowing God to remove all the rust and dirt from our lives leaving us shiny and new, ready to take on our calling. May we be willing to let go of our dreams and callings for our lives and fervently listen to what God is calling us to do even if it we don’t understand it in the moment.