How will I know I’m ready to go? The question is quite philosophical. But does it need to be? When we look for the Lord’s leading as to where and how we should serve Him, it can get frustrating when there is no clear path. Do I go with my instincts? Do I step out in faith? How do I know I’m making the right decision? I need to pray about this more. And on it goes. The questioning … second guessing—it can paralyze a person and keep them from acting because they’re not sure if it’s what God wants. Or is it realizing that they’re not completely ready? There are still things to prepare, to buy, to do.
I’ve heard many newlywed couples say, “We’ll be ready to have children when we’re more financially stable,” or “We want to buy a house before we have a baby,” or “We need to be at a certain phase in our lives.” Sometimes couples will wait years before trying to have children. Still others find themselves expecting unexpectedly. And there are those who never consider themselves ready.
Whether we wait to have children or not doesn’t make us any more prepared to have them. The sleepless nights, messy diapers, and illnesses will always come, mostly out of left field. We cannot prepare for everything that may happen during pregnancy, childbirth, and after taking that tiny human home to nurture and rear into an independent adult. We adapt to the change and learn from it.
My point? We’re never truly “ready” to go. There will always be one thing that didn’t get done; the one relationship we just can’t leave behind; the drastic lifestyle change; and the inevitable element of the unknown we didn’t account for. We can try, but we aren’t able to prepare for Every. Single. Thing. So, we make excuses.
Moses made excuses. When he took his flock up Mount Horeb and saw a bush on fire, he noticed it wasn’t being consumed and he said to himself, “I gotta see this!” Most of us know this was God calling Moses to go back to Egypt to bring the Israelites out of slavery. Exodus chapters 3–4 give the account of the conversation between the Lord and Moses and the myriad excuses Moses came up with as to why he was not the man for the job. His final excuse? He wasn’t a man who spoke eloquently. God countered Moses’ complaints with a question. “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord?” (Ex. 4:11).
The fact is, we’re never going to be “ready” in human terms. We may have a number of excuses for not going right now. Our health is bad. Our children need to grow up. We need to grow more spiritually. Our parents are aging and need our help. We’re just not ready. Friend, we can always find reasons to not go. Moses had four and God shot down every one of them. It didn’t matter that Moses felt inadequate. God would go with him. It didn’t matter that Moses felt he didn’t have the respect he needed. God would give him powerful signs. It didn’t matter that Moses felt tongue-tied. God would give him the words.
In the end it doesn’t matter if we feel ready. If God has called us, He will lead and He will see it done. “He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.” (1 Th. 5:24). It’s His work, not ours. So go and do it. Ready or not.
Get the process started by going to BMM’s Start Here page.
The February Serve is written by Renate Reiner, BMM missionary in Brazil.