My favorite Shakespeare quote is this: “Which can say more, than this rich praise, that you alone, are you.” How perfectly profound. What more should we seek in life than to be ourselves, to be who God created us to be? Never is a person more lost than when they cease to seek out God’s will for their life.
God had a plan when we were born. He knew the people we would grow up to be. He knew the impact we would have on the world. He knew . . . and He called us. From the time we were little, each experience was meant to prepare us. Each person, each life event, each step we took was to lead us in the direction that God desired for us. How often, though, do we ignore that small voice? How often do we pursue our selfish desires? How often do we sit around in our comfort zones, too obsessed with our own little worlds to see what God has laid before us?
As Christians in this world, we have two main purposes: edifying the body of Christ and reaching the lost. And God gave us each the tools we would need to fulfill our mission. For each person, these tools are very different. As no two lives are the same, neither are the gifts God gives us. Our gifts will edify and reach as God intended only for us to do.
In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul uses the metaphor of the body to explain how we all have our part to play. A foot cannot do the job of a hand–it is not made in a way that allows it to grip and control. Likewise, a hand is not a heart–it cannot pump blood through the body. Each part is separate, but together they make up the body. We are like the body–different members to make up the whole. I was not made to handle international missions. My body does not physically adapt well to changes, nor to foods and environments. However, I do possess the gift of words and writing. I was created to be a writer–to spread the message of the Gospel through stories and through articles like this one.
You were created for your own purpose–it is not like mine. Each person is unique. Your purpose may lie in missions, or it may be in encouraging co-workers/friends/church members. You may be called to teaching, or healing, or any other pursuit where God sees a need.
We have to learn to be content with the purposes we are given. Sometimes we can look at others and wish that we had their talents, their calling, or their life. Truth is, though, that if we did have their life, calling, or talents–we wouldn’t be us. We wouldn’t be as happy as we think we would be, because we would not be in line with God’s will for our lives.
So what do we do when we find our purpose? Embrace it. Rely on it. Remember that God will do great things through us, even if we never see the effect that we have on others. A mother raising her children may not be able to see the eternal influence she is having in the day-to-day fighting, cleaning, and craziness. A man in an office may not be able to see that each kind word, encouragement, and moment of integrity is being watched by someone struggling against letting God in. No, we may never know the extent of our efforts this side of Heaven, but we have to trust that God knows, that He is in control.
It is only by walking in God’s grace and seeking His will that we find our purpose. And it is only in finding our purpose, accepting it, and striving to fulfill that purpose that we honor God and find satisfaction in our lives.