Well, this blog has been a little bit more then neglected recently. Jeff and I have started our own photography business (with a lot of prayer and a lot of love), and we have been pretty focused on that. We’ve been learning to take pictures, and how to take better ones (on a tight budget). We’ve designed a website, done a few shoots, and now we are focusing on marketing. Oh boy, that part is the hardest yet.
I feel like sometimes, when God calls you to something, it’s easy for you to make your own expectations for what it will look like. It’s easy to think that the road will be simple because hey, God’s called you to it. I mean, and you *know* in your brain it won’t be, because since when is being in his plan easy, but you feel like every will just work out because that’s what it’s supposed to do. But then, the road isn’t as magical as you were dreaming it would be- and that’s when you realize there is a lot of work and stress that go into it, and a lot of questions that just seem unanswered. Why did he call me to this if the doors that were opened now seem shut? Why would he call me to this if it’s not sustaining us? Why would he call me to this if it’s doesn’t seem to be working out?
When his calling is not working out the way I want it to, the way I expect, the first thing he reminds me is that I didn’t do the calling- he called me.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit–fruit that will last.. – John 15:16
That’s encouraging to me. He didn’t choose us- call us- to just do something. Rather, he has called us to a lifetime that will bear fruit that will last. So whatever he is calling you to do, whatever he has called me to do will have lasting fruit- sometimes beyond what we can even see.
But there are still questions. Why won’t he let me see this fruit? What is the purpose of this frustration, the stress, the worry? Didn’t God realize that it’s really hard right now to make this whole ‘calling’ thing come together? Why do all these doors seem to be shut that he is more then capable of opening? If he is so great, why aren’t things working out the way I thought?
Shh. He gently reminds us,
‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways’ declares the Lord. – Isaiah 55:8
It’s not as simple as “You can open doors, why aren’t you?” or “You know this is painful, and you can make it smoother.” His way for everything is vastly different than ours. That’s what makes him God. So even when it doesn’t make sense to us- when the doors that were wide opened have closed, the money isn’t coming through, and trust is thin- it’s so crucial to remember his plan, this calling, is not done in our way, but in his way. And still there’s more.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28
He has chosen me for a calling that will bear lasting fruit. His way of going about this is not the way I would choose, but rather the way that works together for my good.
As humans, we fail. We often see only what’s right in front of us, only what we want in this immediate time. But our Father in heaven sees much more then the immediate, he sees his long-term purpose, and ultimately our long-term good. This final verse is icing on the cake for me;
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? – Matthew 6:26
I can assure you, you have more value then a bird. And he loves you dearly.
Sometimes, it feels as though God has called us to impossible things. He’ll open a few doors- and we take our imagination with us and think of a bright, maybe medium-level, sane pathway before in which goodness and mercy will just fall on us. And reality hits, and we realize that what he has called us to do IS impossible. We think of everything we have given up to step out in faith and follow this grand calling. Monetary security. Family’s blessings. Our time. But the truth is, what he has in store for us is so much greater then what we can imagine. We aren’t called to something that wastes our time, but rather something that has lasting fruit for his good purpose. We aren’t called to a way that is humanly imperfect, but a way that is the Lord’s perfect. What we are called to something that works together for our good.
This is a reminder I say mostly for myself. It’s so easy to look at things through my own eyes. But slowly, daily, I am learning that following Jesus and God’ calling for my life is usually what I am not expecting.