Isaiah 6: 5 And (Isaiah) said: “Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” 6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7 The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.” 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!” 9 And he said, “Go and say to this people: ‘Keep listening, but do not comprehend; keep looking, but do not understand.’
There’s an interesting sequence here. God called Isaiah asking, “Whom shall I send?” God didn’t specify what the sent one would be asked to say or do. It’s an open question. Whom shall I send? Isaiah responds, “Here am I; send me!” It’s only after Isaiah says yes that God reveals what he is to do. Isaiah is to deliver dire warnings to God’s people.
This kind of thing happens a lot in scripture. Moses said yes to God at a burning bush, not knowing the journey would include 40 years in the wilderness with a grumbling people. David said yes to the Lord as a boy, not knowing he would be running for his life more than once. The disciples said yes to Jesus’ invitation to “come follow me”, not knowing the journey would involve watching Jesus die on a cross. All of these persons accomplished historic things for God’s kingdom, but none knew in advance what they were up against.
So it is with you and me.
When we say yes to God’s call we won’t know in advance either the blessings or struggles that lay ahead of us. We must be willing to go in blind, trusting that the Lord will sustain us no matter what. That’s a scary proposition don’t you think? And yet, if we want to be used by God, there is no other way.
Gracious God, we hear your call. If we’re honest, we’d much prefer to know in advance what we’re up against – but that’s not how you operate. So give us grace to say yes, even when we want to say no. Amen.