May always brings thoughts of graduation. It is especially on my mind this year with our daughter Bria graduating from the Free Lutheran Bible College and our son Caden graduating from high school. When I think of graduation, I also think about how God has made us all differently, and that He has a unique calling on each of our lives. (Our calling is not just a vocation, it is our whole lives, which include relationships, activities, etc.) That calling changes over time, but throughout our lives, God has a plan and purpose for each of us. Graduation marks the completion of a time of preparation and study. It also marks a time when something new lies ahead. It is simultaneously both an end and a beginning. The same thing was true for Abraham when God called him to something new. Genesis 12:1. “The Lord said to Abraham, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” First, God called Abram away from something. Then God called Abraham to something. Thirdly, obeying the call of God required Abraham to trust God.
God’s call for us will involve a loss. For Abraham, it meant moving away from the city and culture that he was familiar with. The losses we experience may be good things or bad things, but there will be a loss. For Abraham to experience his calling, he could not be both simultaneously in Ur and also in the promised land. He had to lose the land of Ur. We should recognize that following God’s call will involve losses, and that these losses are also a part of God’s plan.
God’s call for us will involve a promise. For Abraham, it was the promise of a new land, a nation formed from his family, and the entire world being blessed through him. Abraham had an amazing promise that was made usually clear. But we also have the promise of God, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope.” Christians can be assured that our lives always have purpose and meaning. We may not always know our purposes, but we can be assured that God has placed us where we are for a reason. He has created us with unique gifts and abilities so that we can be a blessing to others and bring glory to his name. As someone once said, “No one stands where you stand. Bloom where you are planted.”
Finally, following the calling on our lives will always involve trust. Abraham could have rejected this call. He could have said, “Since I don’t know where this path is leading and I’m comfortable here, I think I will just stay here in Ur. I don’t trust that this plan will turn out well.” We do not get to pick our calling. We do not get to say, “I would rather have someone else’s calling because it looks more comfortable.” We walk the path that God lays out before us. As far as trusting God, it is hard…but it shouldn’t be. His track record of faithfulness is long and consistent.
I’m excited to see where God will lead our graduates! However, just in case you are wondering if God’s calling is only for young graduates, God called Abraham when he was 75 years old! God’s calling isn’t just for what we consider to be “big things.” We should all be open to God’s calling for us each day.
I am excited to see where God leads each of you!
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