In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy , holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for. ”
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? ”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
|The Vision of Isaiah, by Luke Allsbrook|
Ummm....go where? And to whom? To do what? God is pretty much light on logistics here.
Yet Isaiah is more than ready, willing and able -- eager, even!! -- to go wherever, to whomever and to do whatever it is God has in mind. Can't you just picture Isaiah jumping up, waving his hand and shouting, "Here am I. Send me!"?
How many of us can honestly say we would do that? If God were to speak today and merely say, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?", I wonder how many people would jump up out of their comfy lifestyle seats, frantically waving their hand like Arnold Horshack from 'Welcome Back Kotter' (hopefully SOMEONE out there remembers Horshack and this '70's sitcom) and yelling, "Ooh, ooh oooh! Here I am, God! Send me!!!!!"
No specifics, no details, no Google Maps satellite view of the lay of the land given. Just a simple question, with a simple faith and trust in a loving Abba Father being the desired response by He Who created us for so much -- one of those things being for us to become the hands and feet, the eyes and ears and the heart of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Kind of a scary thing to imagine for some of us, yes? I think of the times over the years that I've heard stories from various folks, sharing how hesitant they were to say "Yes" to God in such an Isaiah-like way, frightened He would send them straight to Africa, or some other remote, forgotten and disease-ridden place on earth where even the staunchest of missionaries fear to tread.
Truth be told -- I was one of those people. Fearful, distrustful, not very spontaneous and somewhat detail oriented. In school or at a job, whenever a teacher or a boss would ask "who would like to volunteer for such-and-such?", I would avert my eyes and wish myself invisible, especially if (a) no logistics were initially offered, and/or (b) the volunteering would cause me to go somewhere, do something or interact with someone I found difficult or distasteful. For years, I fluctuated between being like Moses, wrangling with God over my lengthy list of lame excuses, and acting like Jonah, speed boating it in the opposite direction of God and hiding below deck with eyes tightly shut. Those of you who've been faithful readers of this little blog of mine might remember (or not) that I wrote a post with similar points back in December of last year called "The Struggle", where I described my grappling with being obedient to the Lord over something specific He was calling me to do at that time. While I did finally say "yes" to His particular calling back then, I must admit it certainly wasn't with waving hands and joyful shouts, and my headstrong wrestling with Him over other things continued into the new year.
But all of that came to a screeching halt recently. Really, I can't even explain how it happened, except to give complete credit and glory to God, because over the past few months, I've been battling with some tough, very personal issues in my life. And then to suddenly find myself being able to give God an Isaiah type response to His callings (notice the plural here) in the midst of it all is, well....kind of weird. Kind of scary. SO...NOT...Me.
But also, SO...Absolutely...Amazing.
Back in February, I was inspired to write this poem of sorts. As I was hand writing it into my journal, I remember thinking -- "What?? This isn't me, God. I can't seriously and truthfully ever share this with anybody, because IT'S NOT WHO I AM!!! And You know it! Why would You have me write this, anyway?!" I'm telling you, I must give God a real good chuckle (and no doubt, some big headaches, too) now and again with the things I say to Him. Because He knew all along that a time was coming soon when these words would be coming not just from my pen and my keyboard, but from my heart and my burning coal touched lips as well. To Him.
And all I can say is this: When you surrender all to the Lord Jesus and allow Him total access to do whatever is necessary in your life; when you are ready, willing, able and --eager, even!! -- hold on tightly to Him, take a deep breath, and be prepared for the ride of your life. Is it easy? No, not very. Get ready for twists and turns, ups and downs, and at times, you'll find yourself passing through tunnels where you can't see anything at all. Like a roller coaster ride, it's exhilarating, breathtaking and frightening, all at once.
But don't be afraid. God is right there with you -- along for the ride and the long haul.
Are you ready?
Whatever word You have for me -
I will speak it.
Whatever song You write for me -
I will sing it.
Whatever story You dictate to me -
I will write it.
Whatever gift You offer to me -
I will share it.
Whatever trial You present to me -
I will accept it.
Whatever burden You lay on me -
I will bear it.
Whatever truth You speak to me -
I will believe it.
Whatever promise You make to me -
I will stand upon it.
Whatever plan You have for me -
I will live it!