The very word “assignment” casts my mind (way) back to high school. Nothing used to strike fear into senior students more than a maths assignment handed out by Mr Payne. The assignments were always notoriously difficult, and with trembling we would cast our eyes over the requirements and inwardly groan, knowing there was a high likelihood of failure. Mr Payne’s name seemed more than appropriate!
God gives assignments too. They may even cause us some pain, especially if the assignment requires some dying to self, patience, endurance, or long-suffering…in other words, those fruits of the Spirit that always seem to take longer to ripen!
God’s assignments are specific, for a specific time, and serve a specific purpose for His kingdom. It might go unnoticed or unappreciated by others. But does that matter? An assignment involves doing something. The good news is that God does not grade us as “pass” or “fail” when we take on an assignment! In fact, if we feel underqualified, weak, or unable, that’s exactly when God’s grace proves sufficient if we will rely on Him to help us do whatever he has asked us to do. To pick up the phone? To walk across the room? To listen? To speak up? To serve? To take on that new role at work? To sacrificially give? To care for that loved one? Whatever the assignment is, we just need to obey and God’s grace will take care of the rest.
I used to wonder, what then is a calling from God? Is a calling always a Damascus Road epiphany-type experience? Because if that’s the case, I’ve never had one! Had I missed my calling?
What do you think when you hear someone say “God called me to…?”
I’ve come to the conclusion that God calling people in lightning bolt kinds of ways tends to be the exception rather than the rule.
For most of us, perhaps entering our calling is more like a journey than a jolt?
As we take one little obedient step at a time there comes a time when we can look back and see that we’ve walked right into our destiny.
Calling in this sense is simply recognising, and then using, our God-given natural gifts and talents along life’s journey.
Are you using yours?
We’re all unique, so what it looks like for me will look different for you.