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.
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.
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.
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)