When I Feel Confused and Doubt My Calling by Lori McRae
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"God, did I hear You incorrectly?"
Have these or similar words entered your thoughts or mouth? I know they have mine.
Same for my friend, Lori McRae. In her reflection of Psalm 141, she's letting us see how she wrestled with this question at a time when it involved something so tender as her calling. What she found was God was not afraid of this question. Instead, she learned to draw near to God through the confusion around her and found peace - not clarity - is what God promises us.
Lori lives in Alabama where she serves primarily as a wife and mother to two adult children, a daughter and a son. She also enjoys spending time with her grandchildren.
Passionate about serving Jesus and telling others the difference He has made and continues to make in her life, she shares her walk with Christ with daily encouragement on social media through “Shine Bright for God’s Glory.” She desires to bring God glory in all she does and help others grow in their relationship with Jesus.
David was chosen by God to be the second king of Israel. However, after being anointed as king by the prophet Samuel, David spent many years running for his life. Psalm 141 is a prayer of David for protection from sin and from those who opposed him.
The life of David has brought me comfort and encouragement on many occasions. David loved the Lord dearly. Yet, his love and service for God did not exempt him from trials.
Some of my most difficult seasons have come in the midst of faithful service to the Lord. Recently, I was living out what I believed was God’s calling upon my life. I had waited over twenty years for the door of service to open. When the opportunity to do what I felt called to do arose, I was overwhelmed with gratitude to my Lord. I knew He had opened the door. At last, my prayers had been answered!
Opposition to my opportunity of ministry quickly arose. The rejection cut my heart deeply. Some who should have been my biggest supporters became my opponents. Competition arose. I did my best to ignore it, but occasionally, the competitive nature within me wanted to join the game.
Prayer was my weapon. I cried out to God time and time again. The Holy Spirit reminded me of the purpose of ministry. He gave me strength to stay out of the game while pursuing the good works God placed on my heart.
“Lord, help me,” became a frequent cry of my heart as I felt the weight of rejection. Some days, unkind thoughts raced through my mind. I knew a slip of the tongue would greatly diminish my effectiveness in ministry. Therefore, I prayed words similar to David’s prayer in Psalm 141:3: “Lord, set a guard for my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips.” Like David, I was aware my words were simply an overflow of my heart, so I begged God to cleanse me of every evil desire. I asked the Lord again and again to purify my motives.
In Psalm 141:8, David prays,
“But my eyes look to you, LORD, my Lord. I seek refuge in You; do not let me die.”
Throughout the various trials of life, Jesus has been my refuge. He is my place of safety. My physical life has never been in danger from enemies. However, during this recent trial, I felt the life of my calling was threatened. I was allowed to live it out for one year. It became clear that the rejection and opposition were too great to overcome. And so, I walked away. With what appeared to be the death of my calling, I turned to the Lord once again, and asked, “Did I hear you incorrectly? Have I been mistaken all these years? What is my calling?”
Every time, I asked God those questions, the years of service flashed through my mind. I have served the Lord in numerous ways. I have served different age groups. There is one constant in each service that brought me great joy. My desire was to glorify God, help others know Jesus and grow in their relationship with Him. Whatever door God chooses to open, wherever it may be, I know that if this is my goal, I am doing what I am called to do.
As you pursue the call of God for your life, trials will come. The devil wants to keep you from your calling. Do not give up! The Lord is your refuge. Walk in obedience and glorify Jesus in all you do!
Now, It's Your Turn!
Before opening God's Word, take a moment to pray and ask God to meet you there. Then...
Read Psalm 141 a couple times. Highlight what stands out to you.
Circle verbs or specific wording you notice.
Then, write down a bullet point takeaway based on this. "I-statements" help make this personal. Think of this as a challenge statement.
When confusion causes me to feel tempted and justified to let my tongue have its way, I will remember God is my refuge and He will help me and bring peace in the midst of confusion.
Then, jot down a question or two to think about today. You don't have to have the answer to this question now. And yield to the Holy Spirit - prayerfully ask God to search your heart and lead you to more truth and grow your faith through the Holy Spirit.
Where am I currently turning to as my refuge? Do I vent to a friend or gossip to a co-worker before talking to God? What could change if I turned my eyes and my words to God first?
Again, we don't have to be Bible scholars and talk only in the thou's and art's of King James version to read this book. ...because when we pray before we read, we are not alone. The Holy Spirit is with us, guiding and teaching us.
Praise God for this!
And praise God for refreshment as we are intentional to spend a summer in the Psalms together, for if we want His truth to ever be on our lips, it must first be planted in our hearts.
Our strength grows as we rely on strength from above. Our joy grows as we see God transforming us from the inside out. Our peace grows as we spend time in God's presence, and we find rest when we intentionally seek the Lord first in our lives, for the Lord is ever our portion.
The good life, well it starts with a good day. Then another. Then another. Let's choose to live #TheGoodDay one day at a time.
I love hearing from you, so go ahead. Leave a comment. Be brave. Maybe your comment will speak life into someone else!
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