A Pilgrimage Fueled by Hope: What Do You Do When You Don’t Know What to Do?
By Sharon W. Betters
Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you. - Matthew 6:33 ESV
Last week we took a glimpse into the life of the Proverbs 31 “virtuous woman” and recognized that Lemuel’s mother used military terms to describe the dream wife for her son. Instead of calling her “virtuous”, let’s call her a warrior woman because the word for virtuous, hayil, regularly describes military action. Her mission? To live her life through the grid of her fear of God. I imagine that if she wrote out a mission statement it might read something like this: My life will reflect my fear of God. Every action, attribute and character quality revealed her relationship to her God. If circumstances confused her, she could find clarity by revisiting her mission statement.
After the death of our son, I floundered in my own identity. Who was I, now that death ruthlessly tore my youngest child away from me? I wasn’t finished mothering Mark. Who was I, if I didn’t enjoy the things that gave me so much purpose before Mark’s death?
Chuck and I started our marriage determined to reflect the transformation that came from knowing Jesus. We thought we could change the world! If not the world, then at least a community. To remind us of our passion and mission, we engraved Matthew 6:33 inside our wedding bands, on a cross Chuck gave me as a gift and on a watch I gave to him:
Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you.- Matthew 6:33 ESV
When life turned sideways, we came back to this statement. How could our response reflect our mission to seek first God’s kingdom? Sometimes seeking God’s kingdom (or glory) seemed counter-intuitive. But when we remembered to revisit our mission statement, controlling our emotions was easier. Our emotions had to take bottom priority. This same mission statement eventually helped shape my grief journey. It became my default mode when every part of me screamed for relief from unending pain. Early morning lamenting, reading Scriptures, writing in my journal and connecting with my covenant community slowly opened my eyes to the fact that my life was not over. My tasks would be different, but my mission unchanged.
What is your mission statement?
Father, the first step to developing a mission statement for a child of God is to appeal to Your wisdom. Encourage us to do the hard work and thinking required to write out a brief mission statement through which we automatically push all of life so much that our mission statement is an automatic response to unexpected life crises. We need you, Lord, to keep us walking by faith when life is hard.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sharon W. Betters is author of Treasures of Encouragement, Treasures in Darkness and co-author of Treasures of Faith. She is Director of Resource Development and co-founder of MARKINC.org, a nonprofit organization that offers help and hope to hurting people. Sharon enjoys quality time with her husband, children and fourteen grandchildren.
For more from Daily Treasure please visit MARKINC.ORG.