October 30, 2020
If You've Ever Asked, "What's My Purpose?"
The plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations (Psalm 33:11, NIV).
Friend to Friend
I stand at the sink, dirty pan in hand. I feel small in this space, ordinary and rooted to the ground. I have been here for a long while now, in this kitchen, on this earth, and I silently ask, “What’s my purpose?”
Across the street a mama or grandma might be asking the same question as she changes the tenth diaper of the day. Maybe in the center of town someone is leaning her head on her desk with the door closed, just resting for a moment on that stack of spreadsheets and wondering this, too.
When we ask this question and silence seems to be the answer, we often go searching. We’ll say yes to another opportunity or perhaps run away from it all. We’ll join that cool playgroup or volunteer at the soup kitchen on Fridays. We might jockey for the promotion or put in the long hours. My purpose is out there somewhere, we think, and one day I’ll find it.
But then the opportunity doesn’t go as planned, the giving leaves us empty, and our souls grow pale in the fluorescent light. “Something else will do it,” we say, “Surely it will be the next thing.” And on we go with our gypsy hearts.
It’s understandable, this great migration. We live in a culture that tells us the purpose of life is about us. We must find that one thing we are here to do and then all will be well. But when I look closer at how “purpose” is used in Scripture, there’s a different story.
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21).
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Over and over when purpose is described, it comes from God and belongs to Him. Also, purpose isn’t talked about much in terms of just individual people. It is more often spoken of as an ongoing thread that stretches through all of history and eternity. It’s so much bigger than us. So when we go looking only for “our” purpose, we are disappointed. What changes everything is when we understand that a meaningful life is not just about finding our purpose but joining God’s.
If we want to be part of God’s purposes today, then we simply love Him, others, and ourselves. That means standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes can be worship. It means that another diaper changed can be an act of sacred service. It means the work project done well can be an offering.
The square of earth you are standing on is the only place in all of history and the entire universe where both you and God are right now. It’s where His purposes and you, a person created by Him, come together. This is not small or inconsequential. It is beautiful and powerful. It is holy, meaningful ground.
God, it’s amazing to know that You have called us. You’ve chosen us. You’ve given us a part in Your plan. Out of all of history, this is the time and place You wanted us to be. Help us to see Your extraordinary plan even in the middle of our most ordinary days. Where You are is holy ground and You are always with us.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
As you wash the dishes, change the diaper, or prepare the spreadsheet today, pause for a moment and speak these words out loud: This is not small or inconsequential. It is beautiful and powerful. It is holy, meaningful ground.
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Holley Gerth is a bestselling author, encourager and life coach who loves empowering women to embrace who they are and become all God created them to be. Her newest book is titled Strong, Brave, Loved: Empowering Reminders of Who You Really Are. This personal and practical devotional is a great resource for women who want to live in freedom, hope, and holy courage.