Amsterdam

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By Sam Callahan

Over the last several months, God has continually made me more aware of how many choices I make based solely on what will be most comfortable for me. I choose to sit in the back of the room rather than the front. I choose to buy myself another pair of shoes when I could give that money to those who need it. I choose to sit with my friends at meals, rather than the person desperate for encouragement. I choose to apply to teaching jobs only in thriving, middle-upper class communities, rather than applying where I could make the biggest difference. While comfort is often permissible, it becomes a problem when it interferes with our ability to hear and follow God’s calling. We become so clouded with thoughts of “What will be easiest?” and “What will I enjoy the most?” that we forget to ask ourselves the most important question: “In what way is God calling me to make His name known?” I know God is calling me to make myself uncomfortable upon my graduation in May, and here’s how.
 

The Saturday after returning from my second SSP to Amsterdam, I woke up much earlier than expected. I felt a strange prompting from the Holy Spirit to go to the 24-hour prayer event in Ramaker because God was going to tell me something important. Terrified, I climbed out of bed, texted a few close friends for prayer, and walked over. I started my time by listening to the song “Word of God Speak”, and God definitely took that invitation and ran with it. No matter what song I listened to from there, or what passage I turned to, the word “Go” would not leave my mind. I left, relieved to have some sort of answer, yet frustrated at the generalness of “Go”. Go where? Do what? Is that all you’re giving me God? 

The next morning, Sunday, I read Deuteronomy 12-15, which repeats the line “and you shall go to the place the LORD your God will choose”. A few hours later at church, our pastor closed the service by praying that the Spirit would persistently tug at our hearts and make us uncomfortable during the week. It was at this point I started to become almost upset and angry with God. I thought things like, “God, I’m ready to listen but you’re not being very clear here, so please, would you just hold up your end of the deal and tell me what to do??” How foolish of me. 

With Amsterdam still on my heart, I began planning a hypothetical return trip for some time in the next year. The more I planned, the more real it felt, and the more my heart yearned to go back to the place I love so dearly. And on March 28, I booked my flights for May 13-June 2 in Amsterdam, still not sure if that was what God has next for me. However, my faith was rewarded, and last night, April 4, I had a dream in which I saw the word ‘JERUSALEM’ being covered by the word ‘AMSTERDAM’. This was the clarity I had been waiting for, and it only came once I had taken a step of faith. I cannot wait to find out how God will use me this time around and to explore if He is calling me to something more permanent in my Jerusalem. 

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