“He can crumple me up or exalt me, He can do anything He chooses.”
― Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest
We like to choose our own paths. We like to make our own plans. We like to plan out our futures. We don’t like the idea of giving someone else the pen to our story and having them write out whatever they want. That’s natural. I wouldn’t trust any human being to take my life and choose my path because human’s are fallible. They will make mistakes. They may tell me to go down the wrong road. They may force me into doing something that I don’t want to do. But if we are saved, we have to give God that pen. We have to give Him everything – our lives, our family, our friendships, our futures, our careers, our desires, our health. Everything we have is His. If He wants to send us to some other country to be missionaries, it is our jobs as Christ followers to say, “Yes, Lord.” and go and serve. If He calls us to be a mother (or father) then we should do as He says. If He call us to go somewhere or do something, regardless of our own feelings, we should follow His lead.
God holds the pen of every true disciple’s story. He is writing my life out as I type, and I pray that I follow His plans perfectly, even though I know I will fail. As Oswald Chambers said, He can crumple me up or exalt me, He can do anything He chooses. God could exalt me and lead me to an amazing future, where I am exalted and respected and adored among my peers. He could spread this very blog out and allow for my posts to be seen around the world. He could allow me to have a large following, for me to touch thousands upon thousands of people with the words that I type. I could be the next Beth Moore, Elisabeth Elliot…so on.
Or, my ministry could go like the one we see in Jeremiah 7, when the Lord tells him, “When you tell them all this, they will not listen to you; when you call to them, they will not answer.” (v.27) I could preach the Gospel and be a missionary and do everything I can for Him and I could simply plant tiny seeds and not live to see those seeds grow. The people who I talk to may choose not to listen, but God could send them to me anyways. Perhaps it’ll be His plan to send me to these people with hardened hearts, perhaps it will be His plan for me to remain unknown.
I could live a short but full life like Dietrich Bonhoeffer or Jim Elliot, both of which were martyred for their faith. No matter where He sends me, or what He commands me to do, I must be willing to hand over the pen with readiness and gladness in my heart. I must, “be ready to allow myself to be interrupted by God.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
I have plans for my life, I have my future mapped out (tentatively.) and I have many desires. I hope that eventually, I will find “the one whom my soul loves” and discover a romantic love like we see painted in Song of Solomon, to find a man like Boaz and get married. I hope eventually, I’ll be able to pursue a career in something I’m passionate about (psychology, specifically criminal profiling.) and help people. Make a difference. I hope to always have good friends, a close-knit family, food to eat, a warm home to live in, clothes to wear. But if God calls me somewhere, no matter how far outside of my comfort zone that it is, I must be willing to go. This is, perhaps, the hardest part about being a Christian. Because wherever He leads, we are commanded to go. We are commanded to leave our sinful state when we are first saved and follow Him. We are then commanded to follow Him and be baptized, to become more and more Christ-like, to preach the Gospel, to be a part of the church, and continue on in our walk with Him. And it is difficult, no matter who you are, you will be faced with complications. You will be persecuted. You will face trials. There will be moments when you want nothing more than to run to the wide road, to the easier road, and catch your breath. But you can’t. You must run the race and cross the line. Fight the good fight. Because when Christ calls you, He bids you to come and die. This doesn’t always mean He’s calling you to be a martyr, but your old self? It has to die. Your plans? Your old sins? Your carefully carved out future? He bids you to come and die, and be born again.