In my thirtieth year, in the fourth month on the fifth day, while I was among the exiles by the Kebar River, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.
During his upbringing in the land of Judah, Ezekiel was being groomed to be a priest. His training was interrupted when he was thrust into Babylonian captivity along with 10,000 others. During that time, it might have seemed like Ezekiel would not be fulfilling any calling to God’s work. Three years into captivity, he may not have envisioned the calling that lay so closely ahead of him. Then one day, the heavens opened and Ezekiel saw God. This began God’s great call on his life.
Ezekiel had been training for a specific role as a priest in the temple. This role required specialized training that took place over a number of years. The priesthood was a precise discipline with set rules and clear expectations. We may think that God’s calling Ezekiel instead to the office of a prophet was a complete change in trajectory, but these positions actually have one great thing in common. Although they vary functionally, both the priest and the prophet stand as an intermediary between man and God.
Ezekiel trained to be a priest with the intent to faithfully carry out the duties of that office. When God called him instead to the office of prophet, he carried out those duties just the same. We may have our own plans and ideas of what God has ahead for us, but they may not be the same as God’s. We must be available for God to use us as He desires. And we must recognize that even if the call differs from that for which we have prepared, no training under God is in vain. The knowledge and wisdom we gain in that training can be used regardless of where God calls us. Father, keep us flexible and available to walk in the calling that You have ordained, even when it is not the thing which we expect or for which we think we have been prepared.