Here I am...

Have you ever played Marco Polo?  My children love to play it while we are at the pool every year (even the teenagers!).  It is a simple game in which one person closes their eyes -the seeker- while everyone else scatters.  After the seeker waits a set period of time he/she begins looking for everyone else while keeping his/her eyes closed.  Every so often the seeker can call out, "Marco."  At that time everyone else must respond, "Polo."  There are no rules as to how loud you have to respond, only that you DO respond.  The game continues until the seeker locates someone, and that person becomes the new seeker.  Admittedly this has lead to some funny family stories when the seeker, in their self-induced blindness, mistakenly grabs other people at the pool that aren't playing.

Sometimes I wonder if God ever feels like He is playing a game of Marco Polo.  Now, I know He isn't blindfolded, that He sees all of us, (after all El Roi, the name that Hagar gave God, means "the God who sees me") and we can't exactly hide from Him.  (Genesis 16:13, Jeremiah 23:24)  I wonder though, how many of us whisper, "Here I am" as quietly as possible when we hear Him call us for fear that He will require more of us than we are willing to give.

The Bible has several stories of individuals that stepped up and responded, "Here I am," when they heard His voice.  Abraham in Genesis 22 when God called upon him to sacrifice his only son, the son God had promised to give him for years; the son that God had declared would carry His blessing to the world.  Abraham didn't questions, didn't whisper his response.  He didn't hide.  Instead he listened to God's voice, did as he was directed, and as a result we have all been blessed as a result.

Jacob was a man who stole his brother's birthright and blessing.  He was forced to leave his home for fear of his brother's retaliation.  And yet, God still saw him.  God watched as he served another for many years after being tricked into marrying a woman he didn't love.  He served faithfully and honestly and as a result, God called to him....and Jacob answered, "Here I am." (Genesis 31:11)  God used Jacob to father a nation that would be set apart for Him. 

Raised as an Egyptian prince, Moses had been sheltered from the horrible life that most Jews had been forced to lead.  When he discovered his heritage, he jumped to defend one of his own and ended up murdering an Egyptian soldier.  His people turned their back on him and Moses fled in fear.  Years later, God called this speech impaired outsider to return to Egypt, confront the pharaoh, and demand the release of His people.  Moses response?  "Here I am."  Not only were the Israelites freed, but they were led to the promised land.

A young boy who had been greatly desired by his mother was raised to serve in the temple, his name was Samuel.  During his training he heard a strange voice call his name in the night.  After he repeatedly went to his master, Eli, upon being summoned only to be told he had not been summoned it dawned upon Eli what was happening:  God was calling to Samuel.  Once the call was recognized, Samuel replied, "Here I am," and went on to turn the nation back to the one, true God.  (Samuel 4)

I could go on and on with examples from the Bible, but I want to assure you that God's call didn't stop at Revelation 22:21.  He still calls out to us today - each of us.  Your task may not have a world wide effect, but remember that none of those I have shared with you knew the result of their acceptance when they accepted His call.  Neither will we.  What we do know is that God's plan is best.  (Psalm 147:5, Proverbs 19:24, and of course Jeremiah 29:11)  And if we believe that, then we shouldn't be the ones hiding and whispering, "Polo," when He calls.  Instead we should be standing up and loudly proclaiming, "Here I am!" 

What are the things that are keeping you from answering, "here I am," when you hear God calling you?  Share them in the comments and Stacie and I will pray for God's strength for each and every one of you.

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