Do I have any volunteers?

I teach high school and whenever I ask for volunteers, the first thing my student's ask is "What do I have to do?" They are unwilling to blindly volunteer for a task because they want to make sure that the task is not too hard for them. I love Isaiah 6:8 "Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" Isaiah was very different than my high school students. Isaiah did not respond "God what is it that you want me to do?" He said "Here am I. Send me!" Isaiah made himself available to God before the details of the task were revealed.

Isaiah was more like elementary school students. When an elementary teacher asks for volunteers, almost every hand shoots up wanting to be chosen by the teacher. It doesn't matter what the task is they are willing to help.

I am sure if I were to take a poll from those who read this blog, most of us would identify more with the high school students. We want to be like Isaiah and declare "Here am I. Send me!" But we are cautious because we are unsure what the task is going to be. We know from reading the Bible those who were used by God, those who made themselves available to God did not journey down an easy road. The prophets were ostracized. The early believers were persecuted. There was a lion's den and a fiery pit. There was hiding in caves. There was loneliness. There were prisons. But when God asked them "Do I have any volunteers?" They raised their hands without questions.

God is asking us today "Do I have any volunteers?" And He is asking us to trust in Him with all of our heart. He is asking us to be like the elementary school students who raise their hand not needing to know the task.

In December I declared to God that I was willing to volunteer. I had no idea the task He was going to present to me. We jump and shout when we hear about the miracles that God does. And we often state that we want to see more signs and wonders. Yet in order to see those signs and wonders there needs to be a vessel that God can use. It is really easy being on the side that gets to shout when they hear about the miracle, but when you are the vessel that needs a miracle that is a difficult place to be.

I never imagined that my husband would be diagnosed with cancer. I never thought that would be something we would have to experience. And there have been times I have felt as though I wasn't ready for this task. There have been times that I have felt that my strength was going to fail me. But even as the tears fell, I kept my hand up and declared "I still want to volunteer."

I am pretty sure that if God would have presented the task before asking for volunteers, I would have kept my hand down. I would have thought within myself, "I will let someone else do that job." I would have saw the mountain and probably wouldn't have wanted to make that climb. This has been the hardest thing I have ever faced. And even though the mass is gone, our journey is not over.

Yet my hand is still up. I am still volunteering. I am not asking to sit back down. Because even though this mountain is high and this journey is difficult, I have felt the hand of God guide us. Even though tears have been shed, I have felt the embrace that only God can give.

And I understand that there is a purpose. The 3 Hebrew Boys volunteered. And they were thrown into a fiery pit. They declared that whatever happened, God was still God. And the fire did not scorch them. In fact, Nebuchadnezzar shouted "I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed. And the fourth looks like the Son of God." Nebuchadnezzar then praised the God of Shadrach, Meschach and Adednego.

I realize that in order for there to be a miracle, there needs to be a vessel. And I strongly believe that the story did not end with the lines "And God removed Mel's mass." I believe that was the beginning of the story. Tears have been shed on my part. But I know that through this God is ministering to those who believe. He is showing us His power and He is showing us that there is nothing too hard for Him. In addition, I believe that God is using this situation to reach those who do not believe. He is showing them that He is real.

And so while it has been difficult. And there have been tears shed. I have not put my hand down. I am still declaring "Here am I send me."

God is asking "Do I have any volunteers?" And He is looking for Isaiah's who will say "Here am I. Send me!" I encourage you today to raise your hand and declare to God that you are wiling to volunteer. Declare to Him that you trust whatever task He has for you, that He will be the one guiding you and directing your path. Believe that there is a purpose behind the journey.

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