Then Moses said to the Israelites, “See, the Lord has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic crafts. And he has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them skilled workers and designers.
- Exodus 35:30-35
“You were born prepacked. God looked at your entire life, determined your assignment, and gave you the tools to do the job.
“Before traveling, you do something similar. You consider the demands of the journey and pack accordingly. Cold weather? Bring a jacket. Business meeting? Carry the laptop. Time with grandchildren? Better take some sneakers and pain medication.
“God did the same with you. Joe will research animals… install curiosity. Meagan will lead a private school… an extra dose of management. I need Eric to comfort the sick… include a healthy share of compassion. Denalyn will marry Max… instill a double portion of patience.
”God packed you on purpose for a purpose.”
- Max Lucado, Cure for the Common Life
Note: The ‘Max’ that he refers to is himself, Denalyn being Max Lucado’s wife, who needs a double portion of patience.
Sometimes we might argue with this Lucado quote, about having been prepacked and ready to go. Sometimes we might be wrong. Sometimes we might be complaining that we are packing our own bags and inventing the tools that we will need.
As for the first argument, we might be wrong because we are rowing upstream trying to do what we want rather than what God had intended for us to do. Turn the boat around, canoe, kayak, whatever, turn it around, and follow the path that God has planned for you. Even then it might not be easy, but don’t blame God when you leave on your great mission without spending time in prayer and truly listening for an answer. God will reveal His plan for you.
That leads to the other argument. Max Lucado says that God prepacked us on purpose for a purpose. Don’t complain about having to invent the tools that you will need to serve God. That’s one of the skills God packed in you. God gave you the vision and the skills to carry out the vision. It may be difficult, but God packed extra patience, even a double portion, for you to stick with the vision and see it through.
And as for the complaining about packing your own bag, in Mark Batterson’s book, All In, he starts the book with the story of missionaries who left on sailing ships with all their possessions packed into a coffin. The coffin was a container big enough for everything they needed, but it was more than that. It was a symbol that they would never return. God was sending them on a one-way trip, having already prepacked them for the mission.
Don’t run away scared. God may be asking you to do something from your home or your local church or soup kitchen. You may not ever have the calling to pack a coffin and go to a far away island, but if God packed you for that island, you would be intrigued about now.
But what if God has packed you for something that has not been invented yet, but He has not packed you with the skill and knowledge to invent it? Maybe you need a double portion of patience, too. When I got the urge to write in high school, there were limited means of getting anything published. It was just a hobby and a dream. As for a blog, blogs had not been invented, because the internet had not been invented, because personal computers had not been invented… I could throw in a few more things that needed to be invented, but God may have packed others to invent what you will need. Wait, and pray.
God will show you the way if you trust Him and follow Him. Study the Bible so that you can hear God’s Voice clearly. Jesus told us that the Holy Spirit will be with us to guide us. You can trust what Jesus said.
In a book by Dr. Seuss, Horton Hatches the Egg, Horton, an elephant, sits in a tree on a nest to hatch an egg, because the egg’s mother, Mayzie, is tired of sitting on it. Horton said, “I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful, one hundred percent.” When the egg hatches, what appears is an elephant-bird, with features of the bird that laid the egg and the elephant that was faithful in hatching the egg. Maybe that is what Dr. Seuss was getting at.
God is faithful. When we trust in Him totally in reply, not hoping, but knowing we are prepacked to do God’s will, we will become closer to God in the process.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.