But what are they among so many?” (John 6:9). It was the question asked when five barley loaves and two small fish were […]
But what are they among so many?” (John 6:9). It was the question asked when five barley loaves and two small fish were brought to Jesus amid a hungry crowd. It was also the question I asked as I struggled to embrace my calling.
“I barely have five loaves and two fish. There are people in the crowd who have more than I do. I’m too small, and my contribution is insignificant. Would it make a difference if I went up to Jesus and gave Him my all?” A brief glance into my conversations with God.
God had been my friend and counselor since my early teen years. The many moves I experienced as a pastor’s kid and missionary kid led me to the one constant. As He spoke to me, I knew I wanted to serve Him. I dreamed of becoming a missionary, but I never imagined pursuing theology and serving God as a vocation.
So when He spoke to me clearly and opened only one door, I couldn’t comprehend His plan. The call became real. I ran away from it like Jonah, made excuses like Moses, wrestled with it like Jacob; and there remained deep restlessness. But God relentlessly pursued and persevered until I gave in. I finally obeyed and entered into this pact halfheartedly.
My journey in the seminary began. I dreaded introductions and dodged them to my best ability. The looks of surprise, bewilderment, and dismay haunted me. In India the career choices of children brought pride to the family. But I was treading a path less traveled, which brought little or no honor to my family.
Once more I tried to talk God out of His plan for me with logical arguments. I said, “I am not tailored for ministry; I am sensitive and fragile; people will never accept me for who I am; there are many out there who are better than I am,” and so on.
He patiently listened to me for years and finally answered, “When you are weak, you are strong.”
I paused, bowed my head, and replied as Mary did: “Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).
All the while I had been asking the wrong questions. I needed only to be still, believe, and surrender. From then on I tuned out the voices and looks of discouragement, and held on to the support of God and my loved ones. I replaced the fear of loss, ridicule, and failure with the promises of God. Now I continue to hold on to the Author’s hand and follow in obedience to His will. Living in His strength, I persevere on this road.
The next time you find yourself in the middle of a crowd that is needy and you hear God saying, “Give them to eat,” do not look inside your basket or be distracted by the voices in the crowd. Just look to Jesus. Bring Him your barley loaves and fish. He will feed the multitude. His command is a promise. Believe that He will provide the means to accomplish His work and that He is leading you into the future He has in store for you.
Embrace your calling and find yourself in the heart of God’s plan.