The truth about callings.


Most days, I don’t feel successful enough to be used by God.

I don’t feel capable.

I don’t feel smart.

I don’t feel prepared.

Surely there is a better Christian out there who can do what God has called me to do.

But then I read the Bible and notice an interesting pattern when it comes to calling.

God found Gideon in a hole.

He found Joseph in a prison.

He found Daniel in a lion’s den.

He has a curious habit of showing up in the midst of trouble, not the absence. Where the world sees failure, God sees future.

Next time you feel unqualified to be used by God remember this, he tends to recruit from the pit, not the pedestal.


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  1. says

    I would only modify this to say that not only did God find them in those places, some of them He allowed to land in those places as a direct result of doing what He would have them to.

    Joseph refused to sleep w/his master’s wife…prison.

    Daniel refused to stop praying to his God…bring on the lions.

    So just because you find yourself feeling in the pit, don’t think that your life’s not already pleasing to God. It very well may be.

    And He’s just waiting for the perfect time to raise up another leader for His people.

  2. Claudia says

    Just did a “Purpose Party” with my LifeGroup last night and could have used this post. His purposes are so much more than we can imagine.
    Keep pushing us, Jon. The world doesn’t need our wimpiness.

  3. kelly says

    Good to hear, He tends to keep me in the pit it seems. I keep wondering why He wants me and what I’m supposed to do.

  4. Kevin says

    This is a truth I can most definitely testify to.

    My “pit” is a physical body that has been broken for nearly my entire 34 years on earth. In the last 1.5-2 years I have lost over 200 pounds and have another 40 to go to reach my goal. I am 6’5 and my goal is to be about 250. Do the math and you’ll realize I was over 500 lbs. in 2011. I have been obese literally my entire life…well since I was a toddler. I was 70 lbs by the time I was three. 160 lbs. by nine. 300 by 14 and so on. Even with 40 pounds to go, I am my lowest weight since age 13. Hard to believe, but that was my reality.

    As you might guess, I grew up in a house where both parents had their own set of issues – mainly alcoholism. Everyone just sort of assumed that this was the way I was going to be. I graduated high school in 1998 and within two months at college, got involved with a campus ministry and was saved. Yet it took me until many years later to overcome the “victim mentality” I had towards my situation. I didn’t ask to be put in this “pit” from toddler-hood to adulthood. but I also did not do anything to claw my way out once I was old enough to change it.

    I have grown more in the last two years more than I had in the first 32 combined. I’ve lost all this weight with God’s help — and with a condition of the spine called scoliosis. It brings physical pain literally every day. I also have a three separate eye conditions (five eye surgeries before I was three) that have made it borderline un-safe to drive a car. So I am not only in a pit, but a bit isolated as well.

    All of this, as tough as it is, has brought me closer to God. I’m doing what I can do in losing the weight, being obedient and growing a deeper relationship with God. I have to guard against that victim mentality creeping back in. At the same time, I am praying and trusting that He will heal me and use all of this for something good. I’m not sure how, but that is for God to handle, not me. I’ve learned that God can and will use even the worst circumstances for our good — if we are obedient and sensitive to how He wants to work in our lives.

    • Cally says

      I have found, time and time again, when we let go of what our families did to us, and move on, then we grow, and we learn to live the life intended for us. When we stay in the victim mode, it hurts us more than it hurts our family.
      Our parents grow old, and pass on, and we could find ourselves living out the rest of our lives miserable over what happened during that short period of childhood. So congrats to on taking steps to prevent that mindset from controlling your life! Good luck, and may God’s love keep you on the right path. The next 34 years haven’t happened yet. Here’s to a clean slate!

    • Lois Pepple says

      God bless you Kevin. I believe He is preparing you for a path where you are an inspiration and blessing to others who are suffering. It sounds like you are in the process of being equipped at this moment in your life. He has brought you out of the “victimization” and is leading you into Victory.
      I am inspired by your journey, as are others, I’m sure. Keep going. Don’t give up. Even in your isolation, you are touching the hearts of others. God is already using you and your story in building His Kingdom.

  5. Dawn says

    @Kevin–I wanted to tell you how much I admire you. I too have had a serious weight problem most of my life due to undiagnosed hypothyroidism from the time I was about thirteen. For years, everyone just assumed I was a moody teenager and that I sat around doing nothing but stuffing my face (I did have those days, but they were fewer and further between than people thought). Most of it was due to inactivity due to exhaustion–I slept 11-12 hours a night and it was never enough. I’m currently 239 (or at least I was four weeks ago at my last weigh-in). I’m trying to drop some lbs too for my knees, hips and back. It is people like you who have struggled all their life that inspire me–if you can do it, so can I! Thanks for sharing and I’ll be praying for you.

  6. Mary says

    Jon, your blog posts are always a delight to read. :)

    It feels weird to jump in the conversation like this, but…like other people have confessed in the comments here, I also struggle with a serious weight problem due to hypothyroidism, which is untreated at the moment due to difficulty getting the healthcare I need. The most heartbreaking part about it isn’t that I’m in pain or that I’m unattractive. What really hurts is when people don’t even think twice about judging me without getting to know me or trying to understand my situation. I’ve suffered vicious slander from “good church people” who thought it was their place to rebuke me for “slothfulness” and “gluttony.” In addition to all this, I’m living with my fiance with some not-so-nice people cuz we can’t support ourselves yet. It’s pretty safe to say I’m in a pit right now, and I hope God will call me out of it like He’s done for people in the past.

  7. says

    I know this truth to be true. I’ve experienced it and I read it and see it’s truth and beauty, but honestly I have a hard time believing that you really feel this way. Just saying.

  8. Johnny M says

    It’s not that I don’t believe God wants to use me for what he has called me to, it’s that he is tight lipped as to what that thing is. I have plenty of other people telling me what they think I should be doing, but God hasn’t revealed it to me.

    • says

      Johnny, God does not want you in the dark, nor does He want you to see Him as tight lipped. James 1 tells us that if any lack wisdom, just ask go God who gives to all men. Also Psalm 119:105 reminds us that His Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. Read, pray, and do the things that you know to do. He will show you His will!

    • chad says

      You just have to find something your passionate about. you can start by volunteering. i am teaching my first financial peace university class at church. it was something i had a strong feeling about for a long time

  9. KC says

    Being in the pit is what I call preparation time… God getting us ready for ministry. He never promised it would be easy, but it is worth it.

  10. says

    This post resonates with me, so true. The paradoxes of faith are many – and here you demonstrate how God often chooses to work in our lives: Through the tough times and the circumstances that seem bleak. It’s certainly not our way of doing things!

  11. says

    Great reminder, especially for those who are in the pit now. Peter comes to mind too. Denies the Lord 3x within a matter of hours after boldly stating that he would die for Him. Jesus gently, lovingly, purposefully restores Peter as recounted in John 21. Later in his first epistle, Peter wrote — from life experience, “Humble yourself, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you.” (1 Peter 5:6)

  12. Jenn says

    Wow! So true!! I was literally giving up on myself just a few months ago…then when I least expected it in the middle of a random church service a friend invited me to (funny, eh?) it hit me like a ton of bricks. “Go back to school for nursing, Jenn!” I’m doing just that – start classes next semester and it feels SO right. I couldn’t be more blessed!!

  13. Lillian V says

    We may not all know our calling or purpose in life until God sees we are ready or gets our undivided attention.

    All in His perfect time…so do not be discouraged.


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