weekly theme #27*
week containing the Sixth Sunday of Easter
When I think of being chosen by God, I think of having some mission or purpose to accomplish. Yet the first part of being chosen, the first part that never ends, is receiving. I receive his guidance, care, protection, and discipline. Until I receive from him, even the amount of my faith in him, I have no hope of accomplishing any mission. God’s mission for me is unique from the missions of others because each of us is unique. He uses a great variety of us to work in harmony for his fame and glory.
Paul says God reached out to me before I showed any interest in him. In fact, Paul writes that God restored my relationship as his friend while I was still his behaving as his enemy. (Romans 5:8-10) He did this knowing beforehand what a rebellious, inconsistent, and dull follower I would be. God chose me despite my qualities, not because of them. What’s more, he invites me to join in carrying his cross, to suffer with him. My willingness to do this is my expression of love to him. It is an opportunity, not a punishment.
How involved is God in the details? I have no doubt that he knew of me from the start of time, but was it by his design that I was born at this specific time and place. I think so, and that makes the people and conditions in my path potentially divine appointments. Why now? Why here? Why me?
The mind seeks to know and understand, and the heart seeks to be known and understood. My mind seeks to know and understand God, but my heart’s longing is that he will know me and accept me as I offer myself to him. The heart is content for he has called and chosen me as his own. How I respond to being chosen has more to do with my actions than my feelings. The question is whether I obey even when it’s painful.
I wondered what Psalm 126:6 meant, “They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.” The Amplified Bible helped understand why they wept as they sowed. They were in a famine. This grain they were sowing could sustain them for the short-term, but they would starve in the long-term if they planted no crop. And if there was no harvest, the sowing was for nothing. Their act of sowing the seed was a total commitment in faith. That is the proper response to being chosen – all-in obedience.
*A Guide To Prayer by Job and Shawchuck provided the scripture references and readings that inspired these reflections. I found this devotional to be the most heart changing of any I’ve used. It truly lives up to its title.