Wednesday, June 28, 2017

When We Need a Little Extra Calling


Maggie, my eight-year-old Shih Tzu, is a slow mover in the mornings. Today was no different. She was asleep at the foot of my bed, but, early this morning, she pounced on my back and gave me a quick lick. She wanted to go out.

She has a routine that never varies. After a single bite of food, Maggie goes outside to do her business. When she comes back inside, she has another bite or two or food, then hops on "my" chair. She either sleeps or stares straight ahead. 

Mamie, on the other hand, follows me every step of the way. When I have a cup of coffee in hand, I head back upstairs for Bible study time. A simple, "Let's go back upstairs," is enough to get Mamie moving. 

Not Maggie. She might open one eye and gaze woefully at me, but she usually stays in place. For Maggie, I walk over, pat her head or rub her back a moment, and encourage her to come.

This morning, I rubbed her head a brief moment and said, "Come on, Maggie. You can go listen to the birds on the screened porch." She was out of the chair in a flash, just like always.

As I turned toward the stairs, I thought, "She just takes a little extra calling," and wondered if some people aren't like that, too. 

I know people who've responded to the call of Christ after the simplest presentation with the most complete response possible. When they heard the good news of Jesus for the first time, they recognized how wonderful it is, and immediately embraced life as a disciple. They were all-in from the start.

Others take a little extra calling. I think I was one of those. I grew up in a Christian home, attended church every time the door was open. I had a lot of "calling." It was only when I was an adult and had my first child that I finally understood and embraced the call to discipleship. 

This morning, I've pondered the many names on my prayer list and realized they're still in the "need Jesus" category because they, too, "take a little extra calling." I've been praying for some of those people for years, some for decades.  I don't doubt that our Lord has called to them, but not everyone gets quiet enough to hear that still, small voice right away. One day, though, I believe they'll hear and respond. 

What's needed is "endurance prayer." It's the pray-every-day-for-fifty-years kind of prayer that never gives up, never stops. It's hard prayer and it requires commitment and faith. It's a tough job, but it's essential if we are truly concerned for those who need a little more time.

Today, let's thank God for His ever-seeking, ever-calling, prevenient grace and keep praying. Maybe that person for whom we're concerned just needs a little extra calling. God's not wiling for any to perish, and we shouldn't be, either.

Don't give up. 

Keep praying.

"The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." 2 Peter 3:9 esv
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