“Here Am I. Send Me.”
These are the words Isaiah responded with to the Lord when He asked, “Who should I send? Who will go for Us?” I believe the willingness evidenced in those two short sentences is the same willingness God desires for the heart of every Follower of Jesus. He has a purpose and plan for each of us to fulfill – a work for us to do as long as we have breath.
Here Am I
Are we ready to say these words to God? We often feel our present circumstances hinder our being available for the Lord’s assignments, and we feel inadequate, or vulnerable. We have many “buts,” “if onlys,” and “I will whens” that we respond to God with, rather than Isaiah’s simple, “Here am I”:
“But I am single. I can’t do that alone!”
“If only I had my house paid off, then I’d be free to do that.”
“I will when my children are grown – it’s impossible as a single parent!”
If God is asking something of us, though, can we not trust He already knows all these hindrances? He knows how inadequate we might fell as a single, how weighed down by financial worries, and how tied down by our responsibilities. And yet He asks us anyway. He asks because He already knows how He is going to provide for those concerns that are holding us back.
In her study on Thessalonians, Children of the Day, Beth Moore writes of the possibilities that result when we remove the hindrance from a difficulty. She cites several examples:
Heartbreak – hindrance = depth
Singleness – hindrance = gospel globetrotter
Childlessness – hindrance = father/mother of many
Disappointment – hindrance = faith
Devastation – hindrance = trust
My pain – hindrance = my passion
And the one that sums up all the possible hindrances we may experience:
My life – all hindrances = my God-ordained destiny.
These results are from a human’s limited perspective of what can happen when a hindrance is removed from a difficulty. Can you imagine what God, in all His sovereignty, is able to do when we allow Him to remove the hindrances from our lives? It is exciting to contemplate all that He might accomplish through us if we are willing to ignore the seeming obstacles and say to the Lord, “Here am I, with all these hindrances and inadequacies, but I am willing to do whatever You ask of me, and I acknowledge that You know what to do with these seeming impossibilities.”
That’s all He asks us of us: willingness. He doesn’t ask us to solve the hindrance or to figure out how to remove them. He’ll take care of all that. The very first step is for us to simply say, “Here am I.”
In Isaiah’s case, the sending involved speaking God’s message to a group of people who really didn’t want to hear that message. It most certainly removed Isaiah from his secure comfort zone. And yet he still told God, “Send me.” Most new experiences require us to be willing to step outside of what is familiar and comfortable, and move into something unfamiliar and unknown, which is certainly not conducive to feeling comfortable and secure. But we can trust that God is our security and choose to take that step anyway.
I don’t know what God may be asking of you, but I know He is asking something of each one of us. He has a purpose, plan, and mission for our lives. As long as we are here, God has work for us to do.
I am privileged to be writing a book on my father’s life, and this message was given to him when he was just a young man of 19. At the time the man he was working for had just lost his life to cancer, leaving behind a widow and four young children. My father responded in anger to God, demanding of Him, “Why did you take Raymond? Why didn’t you take me instead?”
And God responded just as clearly to him as if He had been standing in human form in front of him, “Raymond’s work was finished, but I still have work for you to do.”
Not long after that God sent my father halfway around the world to Nepal, and that was the first of many ministry assignments God has had for him in his over eighty years of life so far. It has been a life of many sacrifices, but also one of many blessings. Today, my father’s message to young and old alike is that if they are alive, God has work for them to do. That message is not just textbook theory for him, it is the story of his life.
What is God asking of you? It may be as “simple” as writing a blog post from your heart, as my niece did last week; or going halfway around the world, as my father did many years ago. Whatever it is – can you trust Him to take care of all your hesitancies, all your insecurities, and all the hindrances? I have no doubt there are many blessings awaiting your obedience to His call if you do!