Let me just start by saying that the last few days have been so crazy. From people in the hospital for little viruses to big scary cancers, to relying on the wrong people and the wrong things to make me feel better, to falling back into old chains and old patterns and living for a moment rather than for eternity, life has just been hard lately. I’ve been struggling.
Last night, I knew I needed God. I needed Him more than just reading His word, I needed Him with me to hold me, to be the one I was running to rather than running from. So, I went to a service at a new church. I was skeptical at first, butI really felt God telling me to go. There were other things I could have done with my night- go eat with a friend or go listen to some live music with some other friends. But because of how helpless and completely numb I felt, I knew I needed to stop trying to take my mind off my problems and instead face them head on with Jesus.
It was hard to get into it all at first, but through worship I became more comfortable. The first speaker was a guest speaker sharing her testimony of keeping the faith through recent events in her life. She and her husband had bought a house a couple of years back, and after spending two years completely redecorating the whole thing, she felt God calling her to sell the house. And she was (rightfully) not very happy about that. She tied in the story about the rich young man, who walked away from Jesus sadly because he Jesus told him to sell all of his possessions and follow him. I don’t think Jesus is necessarily telling all of us through this to give away everything we own, but if we’re honest, we all have those things that are hindering our walk. That are keeping us from what he wants us to do. These might be possessions, but they can also be an attitude, caring what other people think of us, trying to impress others in the way we dress and how we look. Maybe its a relationship or a friendship or a job or education. It could even be doubts we have about God, or shame and guilt and negative thoughts about ourselves. For me, I realized that what’s standing in my way is actually a pretty big problem that I have to let go of. If I’m honest, its a few things. For this lady, it was her house. It’s different for everyone, but the outcome is the same. Something is standing in our way of what God wants for our lives, what He wants to do with us and for us.
The second speaker came up shortly after and spoke about activating our faith. She read from James 2, the part where it says “Faith without actions is dead.” If we have faith, but don’t live like it, do we really have faith at all? Do we have confidence that God is faithful and will do what He says? Do we have confidence about what He says about us? She brought up the story of Esther, and how she put her life on the line to save many others. In a sort of pep-talk, someone close to her told her that this was the moment of her purpose, this was her purpose, to save a whole nation – for such a time as this. But would she have the faith to stand up? She did. She trusted God and let Him use her and she was able to save so many lives because of it.
As these messages closed with worship, I really began to put the two together, and as I did, I believe God revealed to me a little pebble of my purpose. It was one of the most amazing things that’s ever happened. I saw what He wants me to do with my life, how the things I’m passionate about will ultimately be about glorifying Him. But I also heard Him say that first, I need to give everything to Him. I need to give Him this big weight I’ve been carrying around and let Him prepare me for my purpose. I need to let Him shape me and mold me into exactly what He wants me to be so that I’m ready when He wants to use me.
I know when I’m freed of what I’m struggling with, there will be other things that come up as hinderances. They probably won’t be as painfully obvious, but they’ll always be there. No one will ever be perfect in life- we’re all always a work in progress. Soon, it’ll feel like he’s taking away good things, and I’m sure that will be hard. But what’s a good thing that’s not a God thing? How good can that really be? Why is it so hard to trust that He’s might take away a good thing, but will always provide something better? We have to let go and let Him heal us from this world in order that we might reach our true purpose He’s created us for.