What About Me, God? Bless me, too!

Envying others

Have you ever looked at others’ lives and wondered why they have the blessings they do, when you don’t?

I sure have!

It’s a human trait that goes way back — all the way to Adam and Eve. The temptation that convinced Eve to eat from the tree God had forbidden them to eat from was based on the desire to have what God has: the knowledge of good and evil. Eve was jealous of God! If He could have it, why couldn’t she? Her attempt to even the score, however, led to grave consequences.

Years later the sons of Isaac had similar struggles, each wanting what the other had.

Esau, the older brother, came home one day from a hunting trip to the wonderful aroma of his brother Jacob’s lentil stew. Esau was starving, or at least thought he was.

soup-pot

“Give me some of your stew,“ Esau said to Jacob, “I’m exhausted and starving!”

“Okay,” Jacob replied, “but only if you trade me your firstborn rights.”

“What good is a birthright if I die of starvation? ” Esau responded. And so he swore an oath to Jacob, relinquishing his inheritance to his younger brother in exchange for a bowl of lentil stew!

Many years later when their father Isaac was blind and close to death, Jacob claimed the firstborn rights by tricking his father into blessing him instead of Esau.

The bowl of stew long forgotten, Esau was enraged and distraught when he found out. “Oh my father, what about me? Bless me, too!” he cried bitterly!

But it was done. Jacob had received the blessing and inheritance intended for him.

How often do we cry the same thing as we look around at others’ lives? “What about me, God? Have you forgotten me? Did you give my blessing to someone else? Bless me, too!” Lonely nights may cause us to look at the companionship others might have, while they look at the freedom we have, each of us thinking we are the deprived one. “God, have you forgotten me? Bless me with what my friend has!” we all beg in our prayers.

The truth is that God has blessed every one of us, in more abundant ways than we often realize. Adopted into His family, each one of us is blessed and receives the firstborn inheritance — rights bought for us by the blood of His firstborn, Jesus. The first chapter of Ephesians lists many of the blessings of this inheritance:

  • Every spiritual blessing in the heavens
  • Redemption through Jesus’ blood
  • Forgiveness for all our sins
  • His grace lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding
  • Revelation of His will
  • The infilling of the Holy Spirit Who is the down payment of our inheritance

We so often fail to realize the significance of these blessings, and of our inheritance as God’s firstborn. Bogged down with the worries of life, focused on what we don’t have in this earthly existence, we cry bitterly as Esau did. Unlike Esau, however, God has already blessed us, with more to come! No one has stolen our birthright, nor have we sold it for a simple bowl of lentil stew!

The second chapter of Ephesians goes on to describe more of how God is blessing us:

“God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! Together with Christ Jesus He also raised us up and seated us in the heavens, so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace through His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift — not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.

God;s purpose for each person

One of the greatest earthly blessings God has given us is the gift of purpose — the good works He planned long ago for us to do. It is on the path of living our purpose that we find the happiness and fulfillment that are God’s amazing gifts to us, completely independent of our lives being like anyone else’s.

So instead of crying bitterly for God to bless you like He has blessed someone else, praise Him for His blessings to you, and ask Him to show you His plan and purpose for you. As you live it out, not only will you receive blessing upon blessing, but many others will be blessed through you!

Wanting to Know Your Purpose?

Visit our Finding Your Purpose page to learn more.



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I Love My Freedom, But Now What?

Love my freedom

In the survey I conducted before relaunching Purposeful Singleness, the vast majority of you indicated the aspect you like most about being single is your freedom. I would concur with that.

The independence, the ability to be flexible and spontaneous, to not have to fit into a spouse’s agenda, are certainly wonderful perks to being single. Of course it’s not just a spouse who can restrict those things — some of you have the responsibility of children or elderly parents, for instance, which create similar limitations. But in this one aspect of our lives, at least, we have a freedom that married people don’t.

So what do we do with this freedom? Is it truly a good thing? Singles are often painted with the broad-brush description of “selfish” by those who are a bit jealous of our freedom. In reality, being selfish with our blessings is a tendency every human wrestles with, not just singles. It is true, though, that for singles it is largely our freedom we need to be on guard against using only for our own interests.

Freedom to serve

I appreciate that the vast majority of you indicated you enjoy your freedom because of the ability it gives you to focus on God and to serve others. Whether that means relocating to care for a family member, spending your Saturdays to serve in a local homeless shelter, or dropping everything to spend time with a friend in a crisis, you recognize the fulfillment that comes from using your freedom in totally unselfish ways.

One of our single role models from the Bible, the Apostle Paul, wrote this to the Galatian Christians: “For you were called to be free, brothers; only don’t use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love. For the entire law is fulfilled in one statement: Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:13-14)

 The freedom Paul was referring to here, of course, was the freedom from the Old Testament Levitical Law. It seems the Galatians had forgotten Jesus had fulfilled the Law and all its requirements and they no longer needed to submit to such practices as circumcision. Apparently someone had convinced them otherwise. You can just hear Paul’s frustration as he writes to them! He wrote, “Christ has liberated us to be free. Stand firm then and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

God-given freedom

 In similar ways, we singles need to be on guard against feeling guilty for the freedoms God has given us. The perks of our circumstances are gifts and blessings from God, “who richly provides us with all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17 HCSB). Savoring the freedom to spend your day off in your PJs, to watch your favorite team play its latest game, or to go out for coffee with a friend on the spur of the moment — is no more selfish than those who enjoy a date night with their spouse or a family night at the park. They all serve similar purposes of providing needed rest, rejuvenation, and connection with others.

So enjoy your freedom. Be grateful for it. Savor it and bask in it. It is God’s gift to you! Use it to cultivate a close companionship with Him, meaningful relationships with others, and to serve those you couldn’t otherwise. But also use it as you would any gift — for your enjoyment. Note this does not mean to use it to indulge in sin, as Paul warned, but in wholesome, beneficial enjoyment.

Above all — as in every aspect of life — continually seek God for how He wants you to utilize your freedom in any given moment.

Freedom to cultivate relationship with God

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The Ultimate Secret of Contentment

Ultimate Secret of Contentment

Our natural state as earthly beings is not contentment. We are always desiring more and better of anything and everything. If we are single we desire marriage; if we are married we desire our spouse to be more this, or better at that. Discontentment is not just limited to marital status, of course. It can affect every detail of our lives. We tend to expect perfection, but we’ll have to wait for Heaven to have a perfect life.

What we don’t have to wait for is the abundant, joyful, contented life Jesus said in John 10 that He came to give us! We don’t have to wait for marriage to experience it, either. Or for a bigger bank account, a better job, more friends, a nicer house, or whatever it is we think will give us a fulfilled and contented life.

The truth is, nothing will give us true fulfillment here on earth if we aren’t following God and living His purpose for us.

Each person has a unique purpose

He places deep within us a desire to live that purpose, although we often make assumptions about what form it will take, rather than setting aside our own preconceived ideas and being open to what He has for us. He is not only our Creator, He is our Designer. He didn’t make us from a cookie cutter or a mold. We are “custom made”! We shouldn’t expect that our lives will look like anyone else’s. We often resist being “different,” thinking our lives won’t be as happy if it isn’t this or that. It is only after we embrace His special purpose for us and live it out that we realize it is far more fulfilling than anything we had hoped or dreamed for ourselves!

About a week after my mother passed away I was feeling the tremendous loss, and in my grief cried out to God for one last bit of communication from her. I thought perhaps I might find something she’d written for me, though that seemed such a long shot I hardly expected it to happen. But that evening my father was reading one of her journals and came across a letter she’d written to me but never gave me. As you can imagine, tears rolled down my cheeks as I read it. In it she told me that although there were things I had wished for in my life but hadn’t received, my life was just how God designed it to fulfill His special purpose for me.

Letter from journal

It was such an incredible gift! First, that God cared so much about me and my loss to answer such a prayer! But more importantly was the epiphany her words gave me, that my life — even the aspects of it I would not have chosen — were lovingly designed by God as the means for Him to accomplish all He wants to do through me. For the first time I was able to embrace my life, just as it is, as a special gift from my Creator, strategically planned for me long before time began (2 Timothy 1:9). For so long I had viewed my life as something to come to terms with and learn to be content with — a life that had somehow gone amiss outside of my control or even God’s — rather than something that was just as it was supposed to be.

Since then I’ve had an overall contentment and peace I hadn’t known before, and a deep sense of how much God loves me.

I’m not a leftover, someone forgotten when the good gifts were being handed out. I’m a special child of God, just as each person is, with a completely unique and special purpose that is different from anyone else who has ever lived, or ever will live.

Snowflake - one of a kind

Every aspect of my life has been hand-picked by God as His loving provision to equip me for the mission He gave me, and He will continue to fulfill His promise to provide all I need to live it out.

I have no idea why Mother didn’t give me that letter after she wrote it. Perhaps she simply forgot, or was waiting for the right time. But I know that God in His sovereignty planned it just the way it happened. I believe He prompted her to write that letter, and, knowing I would need that special gift from her (and from Him!) soon after she was gone and that it would be the perfect time for me to accept her words as the truth He knew I needed, kept her from sharing it with me. And then, on the day He wanted me to receive His message, gave me that desire for for a last communication from her, and then prompted my father to read the very journal (one of many!) that contained it.

If God is that strategic to plan such a “small” event for “little old me,” how much more can I trust Him to work out every detail of my life, and to provide all that I need to live this amazing abundant life and purpose He’s given me!

You, too, have a unique and special purpose God created you to fulfill! He has orchestrated your life’s details also, whether you have been aware of it or not. I pray that, if you aren’t yet aware of this amazing truth, God will open your eyes and reveal to you just how strategically He’s planned your life and designed you to be who you are, and that He will provide all you need to live the incredible purpose He’s given you!

“Now may the God of peace, who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus — the great Shepherd of the sheep — with the blood of the everlasting covenant, equip you with all that is good to do His will, working in us what is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ. Glory belongs to Him forever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20-21 HCSB)

Would you like some help identifying the special purpose God has given you?

Shari Baer is a life coach who is especially gifted in coming alongside others and helping them discover their God-given purpose that makes their heart sing! She is offering her services to the Purposeful Singleness community and would love to journey with you over the phone or Skype.

Visit our Finding Your Purpose page to learn more.


Suggested Books for Further Reading


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Finding Peace When We Don’t Understand

Finding peace when we don't understand

I am analytical by nature. When it comes to figuring out how something works so I can use it, or getting to the root of a problem so I can move forward, that characteristic serves me well. But when it comes to finding answers to questions which have no complete answers, it costs me way too much time and energy.

Years ago after experiencing a relationship gone sour and trying to figure out why it happened, a wise person told me, “These things never have only one reason. Some parts we can figure out, others we never will.” I’ve thought of those words often. Realizing some questions have no humanly-known answers has relieved me of a lot of angst over the years.

But there’s another concept that has helped me even more. It is realizing that while God has given us freedom of choice, and our choices do have consequences, ultimately He determines the outcome. God can and does override our best efforts and redeem our worst mistakes to accomplish His purposes for us.

God is redemptive

Could God have redeemed the “mistakes” made in that relationship gone sour and kept it intact? Absolutely. But to accomplish His purposes for good in each of our lives and far beyond them, He chose not to. How do I know that? Because I know God has our good at heart (Romans 8:28-20) and His ways and purposes are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9). We have every reason to trust that the outcome He determines is the best possible one. He knows the purpose for which He created us and is faithfully directing our steps accordingly. Our part is to trust Him and accept what He’s doing, even if we don’t understand.

The wisest man who ever lived said in Proverbs 20:24, “Since the Lord is directing our steps, why try to understand everything that happens along the way?”

I think of Job and his friends and their attempts to reconcile his godliness with his suffering. Unknown to all of them was what was happening in the spiritual realm, which, if they had known, would have answered their questions. What we know now that they didn’t, was that God had a purpose for it all that was greater than Job, his family, or his friends. In the end God blessed Job abundantly in spite of His seeming abandonment of him earlier.

While sometimes it seems God has abandoned us when life doesn’t go as we planned, if we but trust and wait, we too will see His faithfulness. It often comes in ways we had not envisioned. But we end up welcoming it with joy when we realize how it all fits into His purpose and plan for us.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 HCSB)

Wanting to Know Your Purpose?

Visit our Finding Your Purpose page to learn more!

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