” I was called to full time ministry.” “I was called to go be a missionary.” “I was called to work with students.” You know how it goes right: sitting in a worship service of some sort and the speaker begins to tell their story of when they were called by God to some sort of specific ministry, maybe that first step to trust Jesus, to be a missionary perhaps or to enter full time vocational ministry. Often these stories challenge and encourage me as I see where God has taken them from where they were to where they are now.
Now imagine this: Abraham steps up on the stage at your church and as he begins his story, you hear this: “God called me to wander, to go astray.” Do what? Now, I’ve gone astray in my life, I’ve wandered at times, too. But I gotta admit, that was my own doing though. Tonight I was reading in Genesis and this phrase grabbed me: “And when God had me wander from my father’s household…” (20:13) The original Hebrew actually means to stray, stagger, reeling or lead me astray.
Earlier God did call him to leave his home, his father’s house and go to a place to that God would show him. God didn’t tell him where his destination was, either. In essence, God was saying to Abraham to “start wandering”, and I’ll let you know when you’re there. Yeah, that would totally throw off any “must be in control” tendencies I have. Think about it. From the outside looking in when Abraham got his “Call To Wander” most people must have thought he was loopy, unwise, not using good judgement, etc. How could he just do that when he had a family to provide for and all? So what’s your point, Jonesy?
My point is this:
If you choose to follow Christ fully, there is a possibility, maybe even a certainty, that at some point God will call you to wander.
That’s not comfortable, that doesn’t go down easy, but I believe it to be true. I’m not talking about God leading you to sin or leading you away from Him to pursue an idol. What I mean is that there will be a time where God will call you to wander in pursuit of Him, along with Him, through some places that won’t be fun and at times will be downright hell. I’m not talking about “I’m just feeling kinda spiritually dry”. I’m talking about “I’ve been at this for months, years…when will this season end?” kind of wander.
I don’t have “3 simple happy hops to a better you” to give you on how to deal with it either. Here’s what I do know from experience and from others that have been there: Choose to keep walking and don’t setup camp there. Do whatever it takes to keep feeding on the truth of God from His word, lean in to those that are trustworthy at times and keep walking until He leads you out.