Noah was 600 years old when the flood came upon the earth (Gen. 7:6). Abraham was 99 years old when God appeared to him and called him to a covenant (Gen. 17:1). Joseph was 30 years old when he finally rose to power under the Pharaoh (Gen. 41:46). Moses was 80 years old when God called him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt (Ex. 7:7). Samuel was dedicated to the Lord as an infant, and was called by God as a boy (I Sam. 3). David was anointed king as a young shepherd in his father’s household (I Sam. 16). Josiah was only eight years old when his reign began, and he ruled 31 years (II Kings 22:1). The apostles were not called into ministry until they were well into adulthood, with their careers already established. Paul was not called into ministry until after his formal education and time spent as a zealous Pharisee. Jesus himself, who called upon these apostles, did not officially begin his ministry until around age 30.
What is it that threads together all of these examples of God’s call upon His people? It is quite simply that, to God, the factors that we take into account when making big life decisions really do not matter all that much. For example, we may make certain decisions based on our age, yet we see that many times God called upon both the young and the old to works that conventionally do not fit them. In fact, it’s not just age. God often called people out of locations, stages of life, careers, ideologies, even different religions. To Him, none of those things were seen as weaknesses or reasons that they could not go into service for Him. Rather, in many of these cases, God’s power was displayed through what we would have normally considered a weakness or reasons “not to”—be it age, career, or circumstances of life (cf. II Cor. 12:9). God, in His infinite power and wisdom, desires to utilize every single one of us for the good of our own souls as well as others’. His work, in His own mysterious ways, can use every one of us regardless of where we are in life (cf. I Cor. 7:17).
Do you feel like you have been waiting for the starting gun to go off, but it never did? Do you feel like you’ve gotten lost in the circumstances of life and do not feel like you are plugged into the mission of God and Christ’s Church? Or maybe you feel like it’s too late for you to accomplish anything meaningful in the Church because of where you are in life.
If we ever feel this way, let us remind ourselves to shift our perspective and
remember that God calls upon us wherever we are. Do you recognize a sin problem in your life? Perhaps this is a call for you to reevaluate your faith and strengthen your conviction once more through study and devotion. Do you see an issue in the church that needs attention? Perhaps this is the door that God has opened for you to step through and give yourself into that specific area of service. Are you facing transitions and big changes that are overwhelming? Perhaps your call is simply to persist and endure, just as Joseph did in preparation for his time as second-in-command. Point is, when we identify with God, we must not limit ourselves in our service to Him. God can and will manifest his will through the lives of His people regardless of their individual circumstances. Let us have faith in that and actively give ourselves to God and His work wherever we are right