Do you ever sit back and think, “What is the purpose of life? Why are we all here? Why am I here? What’s my purpose?”
I’ve thought about this a lot. Many times in my journal, I’ve written, “Lord, what’s MY purpose?”
You see, after the kids grow up and leave home and maybe even live so far that they and your grandchildren are not physically, tangibly, in your life any more, there can be a void. Or the last kid goes off to college, or a death or divorce. Your whole life can change, seemingly overnight.
Even when the children are young and needy and adorable and keep you always pouring out, there can sometimes be a heart’s cry of, “Where do I fit into the grand scheme of things? Am I fulfilling my purpose?”
Life can feel startlingly empty sometimes.
So you ask, “God what do you want me to do?”
Sometimes God answers in concrete. A job. A specific ministry. Some kind of responsibility.
But sometimes, He just says, “Follow Me.”
Follow Me?!?!?!? What does that mean??? Argh.
So you continue as you’ve been doing. You serve. You try some things, new jobs, no job. A pet? Home business?
Nothing fills. Just gnawing emptiness and, well, tears.
But God is good. You cling to that. He has a plan (even if you have no clue). So you aim to be faithful. You plod on. Morning devotions. In the word. You try to seek Jesus with all your heart. You try to actively believe what you know to be true. You try to give thanks “in all things.”
Time goes by…
Dawn starts to break. A glimmer of sunshine, then an explosion of light!
Regular morning reading, in Matthew:
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matt 5:14-16
Glorify your Father in heaven. Glorify God. Glorify God!
The goal of life, the goal of MY life, is to glorify God. That’s what I’m to live for. That’s my purpose. My life is meant to be like a lamp on its stand, drawing people to want to know God.
So simple, and there all along.
All this plodding. But what I see as plodding, He sees as faithfulness.
He is changing me into his likeness so that I might be a living epistle.
What’s an epistle? It’s a letter. Specifically a “letter from Christ.” Second Cor 3:3 describes Christians who live like they are a letter from Christ, “written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”
Father, write “Jesus” all over my life.
God is doing a work in our lives. He is making all of us who follow Him into living epistles.
So what does a living epistle DO?
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Gal 2:20
Mostly, a living epistle believes. It’s a position of the heart and a mindset. Living epistles offer their lives and their plans to God so He can fully write his story all through their pages. They live by faith. They seek his will first, his kingdom.
They probably keep doing a lot of what they’re already doing but with a different mindset.
A living epistle loves, believes, endures – does not give up.
Toward what end?
Toward sharing and living Christ in order to glorify God.
Every day, there are new opportunities to live Christ. To our husbands. To our babies. Everywhere we go, we can be a light. The bank. The grocery store. The school. The office. The gym. Do we actually see baristas and bank tellers, look into their eyes and smile and possibly make their day? Do we see them as people with their own stories, their own pain, their own joy, who God loves and wants to draw to Himself, maybe through us?
What do people read when they turn my pages?
It’s said that a farmer makes long straight rows by looking ahead, not to the left or the right or even behind him. He looks straight ahead at a distant target and aims for that.
What if we thought of glorifying God as an actual full-time job? If glorifying God were our target, not looking to the left or to the right, but learning to know Him and his ways, being filled with his Spirit, learning to hear Him, and going through our days with his love always before us?
You see, I believe that when we are fully ourselves, fully living like the new creatures in Christ that we are (2 Cor 5:17), fully abiding in Him (Jn 15:4-5), we will be glorifying God with our lives. Him in us, living his life through us, loving our families, our neighbors, whoever we come in contact with. Patient. Understanding. Merciful. Kind. Longsuffering. Ready to offer grace. Ugh, I know for me, that’s a far cry from who I can be when I forget how much He loves me.
It was there all the time – my purpose, our purpose. Through all the various stages of life, the purpose remains the same. It just works itself out in different ways for different seasons. Oh, for eyes to see this and not let it go!
Every stage of life, from beginning to end, through sunshine and storms, can be one continuous journey of fulfilling our purpose by glorifying God and enjoying Him forever.
Listening. Knowing. Believing. Living.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us… Eph 3:20
Do you ever feel like you’re going nowhere? That there has to be more to life than what you’re currently experiencing? Take heart – God has great plans for you! Feel free to share in the comments…