When the Call Feels Bigger Than You
"She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard." Proverbs 31:16 (ESV)
I walked around the old tattered fence. Hope mounted as crisp leaves crunched beneath my feet.
The fence was home to a shabby, forgotten garden, out back of the new home we’d just purchased. How long had it been since someone had tended its roots? Surely not too long, I gathered, as I eyed the fallen, pulpous peppers sitting among the underbrush.
My eyes took in the misfortune of soil left untended, but in my heart I saw a season of growth and opportunity amidst this agricultural wreckage.
It was my field.
Stubble. Chaff. Clay. Not much to behold, yet promise was burgeoning just below the soil.
A year later, after we had tilled and toiled and harvested that garden soil, the words from today’s key verse began their resounding echo in my spirit: "She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard" (Proverbs 31:16).
The verse reverberated within me over time. As I read it again and again, that originally untended garden out back began to flourish with a successful first season of fruit bearing.
And God opened my eyes to other untended fields with potential.
Vacant fields lay all around us. In wedding vows promised before God and family. In the births of new babes. In the prodding of one’s heart toward new ministry. In the face of new mothers in shelters downtown. In the eyes of orphans a world, or a street, away.
How many times have I stood before an empty field? And how many times have I walked right past one without consideration?
Sometimes, the eyes of one’s heart must squint to see it, but there is hope amidst the overgrowth. There is great potential waiting to be unearthed from these desolate fields.
I imagine this woman spoken of in Proverbs 31 … "She considers a field and buys it …" Her feet planted on the edge of that field. Hand rubbing chin and head tilted in curiosity.
What could it be? What would God work through her hands for His glory?
Perhaps we are afraid to see these fields. When we glimpse an opportunity before us, do we turn our gaze because we are wary of the work the soil demands? The beauty of the fruit is alluring; we truly desire to see God do great and magnificent things through us. But our hands seem so unprepared, and we feel wholly unworthy of the calling.
When you stand before that vacant field, and consider the great expanse of the work it will take from barren to harvest, don’t let fear turn you away. We have much to make of empty fields if we are ready to put our hands to the plow and get a little messy.
You need only consider your next right step. Don’t be overwhelmed by the size of the task before you. Focus on the one thing that must be done next and trust God to level the ground before you. Pick up some gloves and clear the brush. Till some soil. Plant a seed.
And then watch in wonder as it begins to blossom. When we’re faithful to simply show up with hands willing to work, we can watch in wonder as God brings forth fruit from our humble efforts.
God places them before us, these barren fields, and beckons our hearts to create something of artistry, of intrigue, of splendor, of His majesty. He’ll call forth the rains. We only need to consider, buy in and put our hands to the plow.
Heavenly Father, help me see the empty and waiting fields that You place before me. Give me wisdom on when to keep walking and when to stop and put my hands to the plow. Protect me from the fears that will hold me back from seeing You do great and mighty things through me. Help me always work through the strength of Christ and point any and all of my efforts back to Your glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
1 Corinthians 3:6, "I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow." (NLT)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Is there an empty field you sense God calling you to work in, but you are overwhelmed by the task or don’t know where to begin? Spend some time in prayer over this opportunity. Write two to three small steps you could take next.
Were you given an opportunity recently but you said "No" out of fear? Commit to praying over that opportunity every morning for one week. Ask the Lord whether He might have you change your answer and pursue that opportunity in His strength.