It’s the beginning of summer and Facebook feeds are full of pictures of joyous graduates and proud parents. A new generation is being sent out with high expectations and, sometimes, minimal direction. Life can’t be slowed, the moments are fleeting, and there are no “do overs”. Real life proves over and over again, even the most talented and promising individuals have no guarantees. And it’s frightening, because some adults, even mature ones, live with the nagging feeling that they are wasting their “one shot.”
Wouldn’t life be easier with a step by step manual that clearly shows us how to achieve our God given purpose? And shouldn’t Google rescue us from this search? And where are those answers; those answers to questions that are seemingly so open ended?
In this world that runs us ragged, often too fast for any of us to catch our breath, we can rest our weary souls in the knowledge that our lives are precisely scripted. There is no error in God’s penmanship; He has highly personal plans for each of us, written before we ever took a breath.
God has both a purpose and a plan for every one of His children. An individual, unique, God given purpose that is so specific and perfectly timed that our days on earth are numbered by it. Acts 13:36 may not be the first verse we think of when searching for purpose, but it is one we shouldn’t miss.
“Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestors and his body decayed.”
Did you catch it? God’s purpose for David was specific for his generation, God intentionally placed him on earth for that precise moment in time with something to accomplish. And when it was completed — he died. It is the same for us. When we have served God’s purpose in our generation, we too will pass into eternity.
And the only thing that will matter is if you have recognized God working in your life for His purpose. Not where you live. What job you have. What awards you received. What car you drove. Not where your diploma is from, or even if you have a diploma.
And for each of us the days ahead will be laden with missteps, wrong turns, questionable decisions, and uncertainty. And that’s okay, because remember, there are no mistakes in the script. Regardless of what’s in view, He promises He has good plans.
There is something every middle school, high school, and college graduate needs to know. Something every mom shuffling kids to activities, picking up dirty socks from the floor, or wiping counters for the tenth time today (that would be me!) needs to remember. God’s purpose for you isn’t meant to be a hit or miss mysterious experience. It’s much simpler. His purpose is to get glory from your life. That’s it.
And He does it differently with each of us. God can get glory through painful and hopeless circumstances (Joseph). God can get glory from the sweetest of victories (Elijah). God can get glory from years of waiting, hoping, and trusting (Abraham). God can get glory when we are treated unfairly and persecuted for standing for whats right. (Daniel).
David was a man after God’s own heart not because of his greatness, but because of his great dependence on God. Before every battle he sought God’s counsel for a fresh set of marching orders. When he was being pursued, exhausted and afraid, he fled to God for refuge. David recognized God’s powerful hand and praised Him regularly in the great variation of life’s emotions and moments.
Life is rarely easy.
Our life journey takes us to mountainous heights, followed by deep, dark valleys. If it’s going to be hard anyways, if our days are going to be marked with difficulty, shouldn’t we make it our mission to live these days with purpose? Some days are filled with what seems like limitless opportunity and hope. And then, we face days where our souls are so discouraged that we wonder if it will ever end. And even in those days, those painful days of waiting to understand the “why”, we can know that God will use everything for our good.
His promises are ones we can cling to with faith filled hands. His purpose will always exceed the pain.
[Image via Paula Borowska]