“So Elijah went and found Elisha son of Shaphat plowing a field. There were twelve teams of oxen in the field, and Elisha was plowing with the twelfth team. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak across his shoulders and then walked away.” 1 Kings 19:19
I’m a much better speaker than writer. Sharing my heart is simpler when I’m not restricted to a page; when my hands and my expressions help tell the story. But when the Lord says, “You’re a writer”, it doesn’t leave me a lot of room for excuses. He does the calling, we do the obeying.
I love the story of Elisha getting his calling. He's there in a field, working. Laboring to plow. I’m certain he was exhausted, filthy and focused. Elijah tracked him down. I can picture him crossing the field of oxen and men, seeking out only Elisha, and without a word, taking his cloak, throwing it over Elisha’s shoulders and walking away. No requests, no explanations, no “God’s will” statement, but in that moment, Elijah’s cloak becomes Elisha’s calling. As Elijah walked away, Elisha had a choice to make: embrace the cloak and own the calling, or ignore it.
Over the last two years, the Lord has been speaking a very specific calling on my life, and I’m still struggling to own most of it. He keeps revealing bits and pieces, and I’d be lying if I said none of them surprised me. I long to respond like Elisha did. Running after the One who calls me, making any sacrifice to take that cloak and make it my own. But my schedule, my fears and my self doubt hold me back. God-size dreams take God-size work, and I am all too aware of my failings.
When communication is your calling, it’s daunting. Every time I put myself out there, it requires me to dig deep into the Word and into His heart; to wrestle with which words are His and which are mine. To be willing to scrap an entire talk or post when I realize it’s just my own soapbox and not what He wants from me. Slowly and steadily, I’m learning to take the opportunities as they come - the first small steps towards the giant leaps. Walking in obedience, trusting the encouragers He put in my life, and acknowledging when I alone am not enough; knowing that what He’s called me to is so much bigger than I am. When He calls us, it is not for our gain. He calls us to step out in ways that will increase His kingdom and His glory. When I remember that it’s truly not about me, it gets easier to accept the cloak. There is no forcing my hand. He gave me the words and took a step back, waiting for my decision.
Who am I to refuse? If I don’t embrace my calling, will people suffer? Will the words He wants to share with someone take longer to reach them just because I don’t want to risk exposing my weaknesses? Not today.
Friends, the One who calls us is the same One who knows our every thought. He is the same One who prepares us and selects us. His power is at work within us to accomplish infinitely more than we could ask or imagine, so who are we to refuse our calling? What cloak is on your shoulders? Do you feel its weight? Have courage, strong woman. He works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. His grace is sufficient for any misstep; His power is there to cover any of your weaknesses or failings. You are capable, you are believed in and you are enough. Own your cloak.
About Amanda Merritt
Amanda is a Kansas girl who claims Texas as her own. She married Curtis at 19 and never looked back. Three children, six moves and three states later, they settled back down northwest of Fort Worth and love their life in the country. She’s a PTA president by default and loves being an advocate for her children’s school, along with being dance mom for her two daughters and soccer mom for her son. In her free time, she bakes a ridiculous amount of delicious goodies, has at least three books started at any given time, and works on any craft project she can get her hands on. She has three life goals - love the Lord, love people, and teach her children to do the same.