A Time for Testimony

ExaminerPhotoIt’s never too late to answer the call of God. I know this firsthand now. Unlike other jobs and careers where age or experience may play a role in when you get started, when it comes to working for God, there is no time, no age or circumstance where it’s the “perfect” time. The perfect time is whenever He calls. When you consider the fact that Moses wasn’t sent to free the children of Israel until he was 80, it would also seem that God will equip you no matter where you are when He calls.

This came to my mind yesterday as I watched Detroit weatherman Chuck Gaidica announce his call to pastor a church. After 27 years of being a local weatherman on television, he’s stepping down in August so that he can answer God’s call. At 55, one would think that he had been a minister. We often assume that God calls the very young to work this sometimes very difficult task. While that’s true at times, I point you back to Moses again. One never knows when God is going to call. But what inspired me so much about this man’s call, a man that I have watched on the news for over half of my adult life, was the fact that it seemed to mirror my call.

When I thought of ministers, I always thought of God calling someone young and using them for the rest of their lives. In my mind, there were either young preachers that were starting out, or old preachers that started young. We easily forget Scripture at times and forget that God calls whomever He chooses. So when I saw Gaidica making his announcement yesterday, I felt as though I was looking at a kindred spirit. Someone that God called late in life, but still has great plans for.

I didn’t completely pursue my call until I was in my forties, and I wondered how much I had left for God. I didn’t consider the fact that I’m in good shape for my age, I have no health issues and I have a wife and family that supports my call. More than that, I lost sight of the fact that no call from God really comes overnight. There’s usually a consistent drawing to Him (see Moses). God called me when I was in my 20’s. It simply took me all of those years to slow myself down, listen to that still voice inside of me and do what God had been telling me to do for years.

As do most who sincerely receive a call from God, I didn’t consider myself worthy. I wasn’t always the best person, didn’t always use the best language, and even though I knew quite a bit about the Word of God, I was disobedient to it. But it was that testimony, that seasoning, that story of reclamation that God actually needs sometimes in His messengers. He’s not looking for perfect people to spread the Gospel, He’s looking for the redeemed! I had to realize that I could only go into the ministry in God’s time, and every experience that I’ve had in my life will serve to make me a better preacher.

I have nothing against young ministers whatsoever. I happen to know a few great ones, and the fact is, I admire them for answering the call much sooner than I did. But as one that answered the call late, I have no regrets. In fact, I know it was all done in divine order. Just as Gaidica said during his announcement, sometimes God just grabs you by the collar and moves you right along the path that He wants you to walk. Even though I’m in my 40’s, I feel as if I’m in the prime of my life. I’m right where God wants me to be. I have the right amount of life experience and Christian experience that God wanted me to have in order to begin having an impact on the lives of the young and the old. Just as Gaidica seemed to be as he made his announcement, I’m not as concerned about when God called me. I’m just glad that He did.

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