Imagine this: you have always seen yourself as fitting into the crowd. You've never really stood out. In fact, many people look down on you. Some may even ridicule you, laughing at you whenever you come around. Now imagine that you are walking along one day, and a man suddenly stops you and wants to talk to you. You have never met this man before in your life. When he opens his mouth, you expect to be ridiculed again because, at 75 years old, you're still living in your dad's house and you have no children (having children was important in Abram's day). But when he opens his mouth, the first thing he tells you is that great things will happen in your life, as long as you leave your dad's house and what little you do have and go to a place you have never been to, at which time you will be given further instructions. Sounds like the opening of a thriller movie, doesn't it? Yet this really happened to a real historical figure named Abram.
Yes, Abram was 75 years old, had no children, and living with his father when God called him. This must have been rather strange, especially to Abram. I often wonder about what was going through Abram's mind when God gave him his calling. Did Abram go, somehow understanding that God had something better than what Abram had at that point in his life? Or did Abram have to think about it before he finally decided to obey God's voice? Whatever the case may be, we can learn some important lessons from Abram's calling.
First, we can learn that we are never too old (or young, for that matter) to be used by God. It doesn't matter if we are 10 or 100, God can do amazing things in our lives and use us for His glory. You don't need to look far to see evidence of this. In addition to Abram, God has used many others who some would consider to be too old to serve Him. Billy Graham is 96 years old, yet God still uses him in a powerful way. God is also just as able to call a young child as He is to use 75-year-old Abram or 96-year-old Billy Graham (think of the young prophet Samuel's calling, or that of young King David). God does not discriminate based on age.
Second, we can learn that, even in less than perfect circumstances, God can still call us to His service. Abram was 75 years old and had no children. In Abram's culture, children were important. The oldest male child became the heir of the household and ensured the continuity of the family name. The family name had more importance in Abram's day than it appears to have in ours. We cannot fully appreciate Abram's circumstances at this time in his life. However, God looked at Abram's circumstances and called him, promising him descendants and land. This is a promise that He eventually filled.
Finally, we can learn that what God has called us to do is not always what we have in mind. For example, God called Abram and promised him children, and land for his descendants. I don't think Abram understood at the time that the Savior of the world would come from his lineage. In all honesty, he probably didn't. However, God kept His promises to Abram and went above and beyond anything that Abram could have imagined.
So what about us? If Abram responded to God's call, do we really have any excuse? I think not. I firmly believe that God can call and/or use anyone He desires to accomplish His purposes. This includes me and you. The only real question remaining is whether or not we will respond to His call.