Here I am Lord, send me. Isaiah 6:8 (NIV)
Whom Shall I Send – The Here I Am Series – Part 2
When Abraham was called Abram and first heard the voice of God ask to him leave home and journey to a new land (Gen 12); years later when God asked him to sacrifice his only son Isaac on an altar (Gen 22); In a dream about goats when Jacob was young (Gen 31) and then years later when he was older; when the bush burned right in front of Moses and then spoke to him (Ex 3); when Samuel heard the voice of God in the dead of night (1 Sam 3); When Isaiah saw the Lord in a vision, high and exalted, seated on a throne, the train of his robe filling the entire temple (Isa 6):
They all responded with:
Hineni. Here I am.
Wide awake and available.
Of course, you could interpret the “here I am” of their responses to be a “Pick me, I’m over here Lord, I’ll do the work, you can trust me…” type of thing. But for each of these men, there was more going on than that.
Through the years, I’ve heard this verse particularly in the light of the sixth chapter of Isaiah when, during a vision, God asked:
“Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And Isaiah replied,
“Here I am Lord, send me.”
It’s as if Isaiah had been waiting for the call of God with bated breath and was ready, desperate, and would go wherever he was sent and would say whatever he was told.
(Side note: did you notice that God referred to himself in plural terms? Nice, hey. Cos that’s linear *note sarcasm*).
God then tells Isaiah to go here and there and say this and that. And we can guess that he did what he was told.
And since the book of Isaiah has been preached, this verse has been used as a kind of warning, or standard: “When God calls, you answer, and he says, you do! Whether you like it or not. You want to be ready when he calls! You want to be available! Listen, or you might miss it.”
I've spent much of my life ready and waiting for the call. Which means I camped out at all the conferences waiting to hear all the big important speakers, I bought the books, wrote the emails, waited in lines, went out for prayer (so.much.prayer), waited to be prophesied over (is that still a thing?), read bible plans, went on retreats…
I was ever waiting for that call.
And sure I heard it, I think, a bunch of times. To move here, and do that, and say certain words… But in a way, I was always waiting to have that “Whom shall I send? – Send ME!” with lightning-and-rainbows-and-wind-and-rain-and-sunshine-all-at-once moment. Like God would knight me or something, give me a sword and send me on my way, a recognized, chosen, I’ve-been-picked champion.
And it never happened.
I said yes to things thinking I was saying yes to the call of God and in the end? It all fell apart.
You see, God wasn’t asking those men (and I’m sure he asked plenty of women, too) in the Biblical Text “Where are you? I’ve got a special job for you.” It just seems that way because they are the lead characters in the stories we read.
All these men were on the verge of change, transformation, breaking the cultural rules, making hard decisions, decisions they had no precedents for. They were in the thick of their own lives wondering what to do.
And they owned it. They showed up. They took responsibility. They stepped out. They committed to the transformation. They didn’t run or hide or flee or escape. They said:
They picked themselves.
Written by Lizzy Milani