by Cheri Swalwell
“The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” Judges 6:11-12 (NIV)
I’ve been struggling spiritually for a while. God has been speaking dreams and desires into my life. Passions and dreams that include writing, speaking, and something more I can’t name. Passions planted eight years ago by God after a sincere prayer of wanting my life to matter for Him, however He chose. Passions which have now become my passions and longings and gifts and talents to offer back to Him. Passions I don’t want to let go because they excite me.
A few years ago, God moved me to give those dreams and desires back to Him. In a small way, I felt it was much like when God asked Abraham to offer his son Isaac, the son of promise he’d waited so long to receive (Genesis 22). In my “Isaac moment,” I chose to believe that in giving back the dreams God had planted in my heart, He would either give those desires back in His time or replace them with something better than I could ever imagine.
Then recently, God started whispering that I should get ready because change was coming. And I keep hearing that whisper, but nothing beyond that, which has me feeling like I’m in a sort of limbo. Have I missed something? Lost out on an opportunity? Or should I assume God is working in the background and just hasn’t given the signal to “move” yet?
Sometimes I get so fixated on the unseen future that it almost paralyzes me in the here and now.
But this week, God gave impressed a new truth on me as I read about Gideon in the book of Judges. Judges 6:11-12 states, “The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”
It was while Gideon was living ordinary life, actually hiding away from the enemy, the angel appeared to give him an assignment.
God then reminded me about others: Noah, Esther, and Mary. The Bible isn’t specific about what Noah was doing when God approached him, so that makes me think he was busy with life, working to provide for his family. Esther was living in the palace with her eunuchs and female attendants when God called her to step up into her assignment. God announced His plan for Mary, the future mother of Jesus, while she lived with her family, quietly preparing for her wedding.
Each of these people was living in the here and now, simply determining each day to be faithful to Him in the ordinary.
No one missed the message, not one blew their calling. He was kind of hard to miss.
Bottom line? When I’m fully surrendered to Him, I’m living to fulfill His purpose, no matter how seemingly mundane it may be. And what better way to be ready to hear when a call for new service comes? When I keep my focus on Him, my heart is attuned to His. And no matter where He has me in any given moment, He will use me for His glory.
About the author: Cheri Swalwell is a Christ follower who thoroughly enjoys her calling to be a wife, mother, and writer, in that order. She has the privilege to write regularly for Book Fun Magazine and her devotional book series, Spoken from the Heart, as well as two other books, Hope During Heartache and Caring for the Caregiver are available through Amazon. She would love to connect with you through her website, www.cheriswalwell.com, through email: clSwalwell99@gmail.com, or Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/cheri-Swalwell.
Join the conversation: What has been your experience in hearing God’s calling?