Do You Know the One who Calls You?
Updated: May 13, 2020
"The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it." 1 Thessalonians 5:24
I remember when Jackson officially accepted the job offer that would bring us from Colorado to Tennessee and how final that step felt. We were truly stepping away from what was comfortable, from the life we had made in Colorado, and into the unknown future in Tennessee. We were suddenly facing a wall of uncertainty.
We had felt called to Tennessee, but that calling felt like looking into a distant foggy future of promises. Our vision felt unclear. There was so much uncertainty, all we could do was trust in the One who had called us.
When we lived in Colorado, one of our favorite activities was hiking. We often hiked “14ers,” a nickname given to the hikes that take you up above 14,000 feet in altitude. We lived in a mountain town that was nestled up above 9,000 feet, so I’ll be the first to admit we had a huge advantage.
When hiking a 14er, you often have to begin the hike in the dark. We hiked the tallest 14er in the state of Colorado, Mt. Elbert, and we began this hike in total darkness around 4 am. It’s a weird but beautiful journey on these hikes. All you can really do is take the next step, follow the path, and hope you end up on top of a mountain. And that’s all you do, you just keep taking that next step for hours.
There isn’t a map (or cell phone service) and the hikes are long. The mountains can be ruthless and you don’t want to be on top of a 14,000 foot mountain when an afternoon storm starts to roll in and the weather changes quickly. From the start, you may not even be able to see the peak, and that’s the case with Mt. Elbert.
We started this hike just watching our feet with a headlamp, and then slowly the sun began to rise, and we kept on stepping. Eventually, when you’re above the treeline, you start to make assumptions about the path based on what you can see. It’s like you can see the top, and when you can see it, you feel so close.
But often with these mountains, and with Mt. Elbert, there’s something called a “false summit.” Essentially it’s a peak of a mountain that appears to be the top of the mountain, but once you get up there, there’s higher peaks, and you’re hours away from the real summit.
On Mt. Elbert, this happens multiple times. At this point, you’re so high up your lungs are struggling to breathe and your muscles aren’t getting enough oxygen, but you just keep stepping. It can feel discouraging, maybe even impossible, but to succeed all you have to do is keep moving.
When I picture the way God calls us, I often picture it like this experience.
I’m somewhere in the dark at the trailhead, I know there’s a mountain in front of me, I can sense how huge it is, and all I can do is get on the trail.
I don’t see the peak yet, there might be false summits, and my limited knowledge is only of the trail immediately in front of me. At no point can I see the full picture, even at the top of the mountain.
When we left Colorado for Tennessee, we left in the dark. We knew there was a promise for a mountain, or for a future and a hope, but we didn’t know what the path looked like. We just got on our way. It’s all we knew how to do. We knew we felt called, and there were times when we doubted that, wondering if we really heard God.
I had so many questions, and so few answers. But I knew God called us, and I know who God is. I know He is faithful, and He will do it. I don’t have to do anything in my own strength, I don’t have to figure it out, I just have to walk into that foggy picture of the future when I’m called, and know He is right there with me.
He knows what lies ahead, and He is already equipping me for it. Even better, “He will do it,” and man does that take the pressure off.
I am not even the one getting things done here, it’s God.
I don’t have to be certain of what the calling looks like, but I have to be certain of who the Caller is. I know Him, I know His voice, and I know He will do it. I am certain of His faithfulness, and when the path is unclear, He still leads, directing each step only when I need to know what comes next.
I think there’s freedom in the unknown, and freedom in the uncertainty. What comes next? I don’t know. But I know a God who does, and that’s enough.
There’s freedom when we release and surrender all the unknowns and uncertainty to a God who we know and can be certain of.
He is faithful. He keeps His promises. He will do it. He knows what’s next, and He’s got it.
-What do you feel called to today?
-Do you trust God will accomplish the steps to lead you into that calling?
-Invite the Holy Spirit to highlight any lies you might be believing about the One who calls you. Journal about the emotions and thoughts that come up during this time. Look to the Word and write about who you know God to be.
Hey God, we know you are the One who calls us. We know your voice and we are grateful for it. Holy Spirit come and remind us of your faithfulness today. Help us to see you as a faithful God, who doesn’t simply call and then abandon His kids, but who calls and then leads and walks with us every step of the way. Thank you for sending your Son, to walk among us, and show us how you desire to walk with us, always. Equip us with your Holy Spirit today to pursue the calling you have for us with boldness, knowing you are faithful, and you will show up for us and accomplish what you have promised. Amen.