“If God called you to Hollywood for three good years and twenty-seven bad years, would you still come?”  (Susan Isaacs, Quote found at Bible 365 Project)

I don’t know.  If I had been Joseph in Egypt and interpreted Pharoah’s dream of seven good years followed by seven bad years, I don’t know if I would have stayed.

The author of Bible 365 Project follows this quote with the statement, “Because the crazy thing is that God doesn’t usually get your consent on the plan before he asks.”  Which is true.  God doesn’t ask before we are called.  Probably because God knows us well.  Because we still (or at least I still) say no before I know how events will unfold.

But isn’t the question also, “Would God call us to bad years anywhere?”

And that answer is…complicated.  God clearly calls us to times and places that are bad.  Loved ones die, our bodies become sick and weak and die, tragedies and disasters occur.  We are hurt and challenged.  These are parts of the lives we live.

But I cannot accept that God calls us to these bad times.  I do not, cannot, believe that God chooses pain or suffering for us.  I do believe that God calls us.  I am willing to believe that God calls us to places where bad things are possible.   Bad things are possible anywhere.  The possibility of bad things is part of having a body like ours.  Of living a life filled with other people.

And the faithful answer is, I will go.  I will go not knowing what all will happen once I get there.  I will do as God asks because my faith is not dependant on what will happen but that God will be there.

The answer to the question of what you would do if God called you to a place for 3 good years and 27 bad years is that the question is wrong.  To ask that question in faith is to ask instead, “What would you to if God called you to Hollywood, Babylonia, Rome, Ninevah, (insert any city or place ) and promised that God would be with you?”

The truth is that the question has been asked.  The answer is ours to give.