The Upper Room devotional reflection for Friday, February 11, 2022 comes to us from Katie J. Trent of Arizona.
1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” 4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. 5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.” 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” 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!”
Isaiah 6:1-8 NIV
My husband and I had served as youth helpers for two years when our pastor approached us about the need for a youth pastor at a small church across the state. My initial response was, “No Way!” I had no formal education or training, and I had left that area after a tumultuous childhood. I had no desire to return to a place where I had felt judged and isolated, yet my heart desired to live for Jesus and I felt him calling. So we answered the call. Of course when we said, “Send us,” ours was more like a frightened mumble than a shout, but we said yes.
Though it proved challenging, I’ll never regret our response. God moved in mighty ways through us. We were able to launch a youth group and brought teens from different denominations together for camps, offering them a sense of belonging. Through outreach efforts, we also saw significant transformation in the lives of many imprisoned youth. I’m still amazed at the powerful ways God used us, with all our imperfections. From that time in my life, I learned that God doesn’t need the smartest or most talented people to transform the world. God simply needs someone willing to say, “Send me.”
This passage from the Prophet Isaiah is the root of one of my very favorite hymns, “Here I am Lord” by Dan Schutte. I think of it as the hymn of my calling into ministry. Somehow, I couldn’t sing that hymn and say “no” to that calling. The doorposts and thresholds didn’t shake and there wasn’t any smoke filling the room, but still my sense of calling was powerful, and it carried me through a complicated process of education and evaluation. I invite you to consider moments in your life when you have sensed God prompting you to take a particular direction or action. Did you follow? If so, how did your efforts work out? If you decided not to follow that prompting, did you regret that decision?
Dear God, help each of us to be willing to say yes to you. Give us the strength to serve you in whatever ways we can. Amen.
--Katie J. Trent
Thought for the Day:
When I say yes, God can do great things through me.