As long as you’re still here, God has a purpose and a use for you after all.
What Does God Have In Mind?
I firmly believe God has a purpose for me.
Every night, I try (and often forget… oops!) to send up a little prayer to God after I’ve laid down and turned off the light. In the silence of the night (which is pock-marked by a night light here or there), as the dogs snore, the cats snuggle up and my wife and child have long-since passed out, I can focus my thoughts on simply thanking Him for allowing me to get through another day, to have the chance to do better than I did the day before, to learn and continue to try to succeed.
Succeed in what? I don’t really know. Not at making a good dinner, that’s for sure. (2023 note: Actually… turns out I’m not half bad a cook after all!)
Every night (that I do remember to pray) I ask God to point me in the direction it is that He wants me to go; to show me what He wants me to do. I don’t often get a direct answer, but I try to discern what it might be that God wants by attempting to align my capabilities with what’s in my heart.
Your Talents And Your Heart
In other words, my talents are what God has bestowed upon me – the tools with which I am to perform His assigned duties. My heart, my dreams and my passions, are the tasks that God has assigned. In theory, if I line up my dreams with my talents – my heart with my capabilities – I should be able to ascertain what it is I’m supposed to do; what He wants me to do.
That’s how I know I’m not supposed to be a cook. I have neither the talent nor the passion for it. (2023 note: Turns out I kinda do a little bit have something akin to a passion for it… ish!)
Of course, the actual doing it is the really hard part. But maybe it’s supposed to be. Maybe the act of both discovering God’s assignment and then attempting to figure out how to perform and complete it is, in fact, the purpose of Life. Or, in the very least, the purpose of what we are doing here on Earth.
But, I’m not going to lie, sometimes I wonder if God has a purpose – or a plan – for me at all. Or, perhaps, maybe He did and I never quite figured it out, or properly pursued it (or followed all the clues) and as a result He has abandoned me.
Has God Abandoned You?
It’s been a rough three-and-a-half years. Without getting into too much detail, it’s been a constant struggle to ensure we can pay bills, raise our daughter, and still try to accomplish the things that we want to do (which, again, we believe to be the things He wants us to do). But often times we feel like we’re barely scraping by; that we’re just surviving by the skin of our teeth and at any moment we could be on the precipice of ruin. We often feel stuck, stressed, exhausted and going nowhere.
In all of this, how do we know God hasn’t abandoned us? If He has a plan, why are we nearing 40 and still struggling? How do we know we aren’t just spinning our wheels and going nowhere? How do I know God has a purpose for me? For us?
I asked these specific questions when I was praying one night, and the answer to each was very clear —
— We’re still here.
You’re Still Here For A Reason
Yes, it’s been hard. It’s been a constant struggle. But at the end of the day, when I lay down to pray, I do it in a warm bed, next to a healthy and loving wife, under a roof that protects and shelters, safe in the knowledge that just as there was food on the table today, so there will be tomorrow as well.
And apart from all of that – even without all of that – I’m still here.
I’m still here, on God’s earth. Still blessed with the talents He gave me (and adding more to my arsenal every day). I’m still impassioned with the dreams He assigned me. Doing everything I can to move forward.
I know that God has a purpose and use for me because I’m still here.
If God didn’t have something for me to do here on earth, I wouldn’t still be here.
I’m well aware of the fact that I’m not the only one struggling. I know you are struggling, too. Sure, there are some days that are much easier than others, but for the most part it’s a grueling enterprise. It’s hard to know if you have a purpose.
I’m confident that you do.
If you didn’t have use for that car, you would sell it. You’d junk that fridge if you didn’t have a need for it. If you didn’t have any interest in watching TV, you wouldn’t have bought one in the first place.
The point is, you aren’t just here for a reason – you’re still here for a reason.
Certainly, even if you can get your head around that fact, figuring out the reason, or the purpose, is still the most difficult part.
We All Struggle With Our Purpose
Maybe you know exactly what your purpose is, but you’re having a hard time making it happen. Be patient.
Maybe you have an idea, but you’ve been thinking in terms too grand to be realistic. Consider your resources and distill this idea to its essence.
Maybe you have no clue, and it’s frustrating you to no end. You feel aimless and lacking for direction. Search your heart. What do you love? What are you passionate about? Do you have, not just an affinity, but a capability for doing that thing? What if you try it in the opposite direction – what do you have a capability for? Do you like doing it?
As confusing and frustrating as all this might be, it’s not haphazard. You have talents and a love of performing those talents for a reason.
You’re here for a reason.
You’re still here for a reason.
And as long as you’re still here, God has a purpose and a use for you after all.
In the midst of all the stress, confusion, and frustration, I find that thought wonderfully comforting.
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