Genesis 6:14-18, “Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks. For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish My covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female.”
Wow. Three hundred cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. This is about 540 feet long, 270 feet wide, and at least four stories high. God called Noah to quite the enormous task. Can you imagine what must’ve been going on in Noah’s head when God told him all this? It doesn’t say what he thought, but whatever he must’ve thought, he had faith in what God said and obeyed Him. Imagine, too, what the people in his community were thinking. They probably thought he was crazy, or incapable. But Noah still obeyed the Lord.
Noah’s call was not easy, and nothing about it was appealing, but he trusted in God. Noah has probably never built a ship before, yet God enabled him to do it. Whenever we don’t feel equipped for what God has called us to do, He provides. Of all people, I certainly know this. I left the Pre-Seminary programme at my university twice because I doubted my abilities to be a good pastor, using my introverted personality as an excuse. But God showed me how wrong I was and how He continually enables me to fulfil my calling by the amount of wisdom He gives me in His Word and the amount of love He gives me for other people, in addition to my passion for learning the ancient biblical languages and relating the text to people in this way. The calling God gives us is not based on our abilities alone. It doesn’t matter what the people around us may tell us, or what we may tell ourselves (unless, of course, it’s affirmation, except for when it encourages poor behaviour).
If God has called us to an assignment, He will enable us to do it, even more so if we’ve never done it before. Noah had never built an ark before, yet God enabled him to do it. Yet it is likely Noah had experience building boats or working with wood, which aided in his calling. I’ve never been a pastor before, yet God is enabling me to be the best pastor I can be. Because I’m introverted, I am sensitive to peoples’ feelings and it’s easier for me to analyse a situation and respond properly, which certainly will aid in my pastoral calling. He is also going to use my skills with writing and public speaking to aid in my calling as well. Something I’m told time and time again from others is that I’m really good at teaching the Scriptures to others, especially on things that are difficult to understand. Whatever God has called you to do, you may have never done it before, but God is enabling you to do it. Don’t listen to your doubts or what others around you may be saying against it. It’s not up to them; it’s up to God, so trust His calling. He knows what He’s doing.
I believe it was God’s will for me to serve in the Army. Before I left for basic training, people I considered to be my closest friends kept telling me I would fail basic training because of my small stature, and that I would deploy to Iraq and die, despite the fact that the contract I signed was a non-combatant contract as an Army Bandsman (meaning Army musicians don’t deploy to fight, but to play music); and they kept assuring me this non-combatant contract was a conspiracy and a lie. Of course, they were wrong because not only does the government not do this to their employees, but also because they still wanted to be right and came up with some ridiculous reasoning to explain their unsupported presupposition. Thanks to these “friends,” I became so discouraged that I made the decision not to enlist. Thanks to my father, however, he convinced me not to listen to the words of these “idiots” and just do what I believe God wants me to do. They were placing their own incapabilities onto me. So, I followed through with the enlistment, and it turned out that my small stature was actually a huge advantage because it made it a lot easier to be one of the top PT studs at basic training and throughout the rest of my Army career. And, obviously, I didn’t die (even during times when it was likely). I never deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan either. Apart from basic training and AIT, I served in South Korea and Oklahoma. I also learnt many practical things and overcame a learning disability that is only aiding me in both my education and my pastoral calling. I trusted God, and He got me through the Army, something I’ve never done before.
There is nothing you cannot do so long as God is by your side; and if He has called you to it, He will see it done. The featured image for this article is a depiction of Noah’s finished product. It is magnificent. It is beautiful. And it was all done because God enabled it. Imagine what your finished product will look like as God works with you. You will be magnificent. You will be beautiful.
*This article dedicated to Riley.*