“Here is a test to find out whether your mission in life is complete. If you’re alive, it isn’t.”
― Lauren Bacall
A little over a month ago, I confided in a dear friend that I felt I had lost my sense of purpose. Additionally, thoughts of eternity frequented my mind as I wondered what my eternal homecoming would be like. You see, this past year I experienced some rather pesky health issues that presented some difficult challenges for me. The Lord has been so faithful through it all, but some of my newly acquired inabilities had left me wondering if my service to Him was pretty much finished. And if it was, did that mean that my departure from this life was drawing near? I had, after all, committed my life to my precious Lord and to His service, and to that of my family. Not being able to do anything substantial for any of them was disheartening and certainly increased that sense of lost purpose.
I couldn’t honestly say I was ready to cross over into eternity because I love my husband and children dearly and I wasn’t ready to leave them, or the dear friends that I am blessed to have, but aside from them, there is nothing that this world has to offer that has a hold on me. Thus, I totally relate to the Apostle Paul, who wrote, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.” Philippians 1:21-24
Paul wasn’t making an egocentric statement here; quite the opposite, in fact. He was weary and desperately longed to be with the Lord, yet he understood that as long as he had breath in his physical body, he would continue to labor for the Lord, and that could only be beneficial to those for whom he labored.
Yes, that is the better choice, I thought, to stay here and give my all. While I pondered what kind of fruitful labor might be left in me, the Lord gently reminded me that there are seasons in each person’s life and each season is different; some seasons are very still, but we should strive to make the most of each nevertheless. Paul instructed that whatever we do, we should do it all for the glory of God. Whatever we do! Remember, every act of service, no matter how seemingly small or insignificant, is a fruitful labor that can benefit those around us, often times affecting them in ways that we cannot even comprehend. The important thing is to give of ourselves in whatever capacity we can. This is what truly gives our lives purpose.
I realize, dear reader, that amid all of the chaos of today’s world, it is sometimes easy to lose our sense of purpose, but know this, the Lord has never forgotten your purpose, or mine. His gifts and callings are irrevocable. (Romans 11:29). His purpose for our lives is unchanging.
As for me, I decided to simply rest in His promises and trust in His faithfulness during my challenging season, knowing full well that as long as I have breath in my body, I have purpose, and the ability to fulfill my purpose —as do you.
By way of update, I am pleased to inform you that just days after confiding in my friend (who definitely prayed for me), the Lord very quickly renewed my physical strength, revitalized both my passion and my purpose, and gave me fresh vision. Now, rather than wondering what the immediate future holds, I am excited to see what the Lord will do, and I look forward to being a part of it! Friends, I am absolutely certain he will do the same for you if, for whatever reason, you feel you have lost your sense of purpose. To quote Paul once more, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)