What is it that sets apart the heroes of our faith like Abraham and Mary? When God called, they answered, “Here am I.” This response is a single word in both Hebrew and Greek, roughly equivalent to when a soldier is called to attention and answers, “Ready!”
What does it mean to be “ready” when God calls? Does God wait until after we earn our degrees or after our kids are grown or after we kick the habit we’re trying to break? Though it is always good to be as prepared as possible, readiness to follow where God leads is more a matter of willingness to trust God’s provision rather than in our own degree of preparation.
How could Abraham have prepared himself for his journeys through unfamiliar territory and ultimately to the top of Mount Moriah? As Abraham reassured Isaac when he asked about the ram for the sacrifice, “The Lord will provide” (Gen. 22:8, 14 NIVI). How could Mary have prepared herself for becoming the mother of the Messiah? As the angel reassured her when she wondered how this could be, “No word from God will ever fail” (Luke 1:37, TNIV).
When we look at what the Bible says about who was ready when God called, we discover a remarkable variety of both men and women. God can call on anyone at any moment. So let’s live every moment in readiness to respond to that call. We can respond with confidence, not because of whatever strengths we may have, but rather because of God’s strength.
This year at CBE God called us to places we didn’t expect to go. This made our work more challenging, but also much more rewarding. God proved faithful in providing for us every step of the way. We’ve had opportunities to build new partnerships with men and women ministering together around the world. They too were following God’s call into unfamiliar territories. Some of their stories are included in this issue of Mutuality.
Where is God calling you? Some people may try to discourage and disqualify you from responding. Perhaps in time they will come to the same conclusion Peter did about people he didn’t think were qualified to be called by God: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism...” (Acts 10:34). If your weaknesses make you question your readiness to respond, remember God’s strength. God’s call is truly a word that will never fail.