In the last couple of posts, I’ve been sharing some thoughts about “3 eternal truths” of which a friend of mine reminded me. Truth #1: Things are not what they seem, and Truth #2: You were born into a world at war. These truths are a sort of “lens” through which he might see the world, a way to help orient us in our journey.
Today I’m sharing the third truth. I hope it brings you courage, strength, clarity, and hope for your journey.
Truth #3: You have a crucial role to play
In this larger story in which we live, it would be a deadly mistake to discount the truth of this statement. And yet, of all 3 truths, this can feel the least true of them all. We are, as Eldredge puts it, “Unfinished“. And this is normal and right — its part of the journey. But, because we ‘feel’ weak or imperfect or incompetent and unprepared or flawed, most of us tend to interpret this as disqualification. Or at a minimum, we feel diminished, inadequate, impotent, and unimportant. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
We have an irreplaceable role in the story.
Think of the biggest joys, deepest sorrows, and biggest breakthroughs in your life. Don’t they all involve people (or a person)? It was designed to be this way. Our lives matter. Our lives have an impact. For good or bad, your life matters to others. That you offer your strength, desires, thoughts, hopes, dreams, the very glory and weightiness of your life, it matters.
We must not underestimate the weightiness of our lives. God doesn’t. In fact, “[He] is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” (Phil 2:13 ESV) And, He promises to complete the work (Phil 1:6). And it is ever-increasing (“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory” (2 Cor 3:18 NIV))
Think of Frodo and Sam in the Lord of the Rings, the “most unlikely creature imaginable”. Think of the young Luke Skywalker at sunset looking out over the Tatooine desert and questioning if his life will every make a difference. Think of Gideon, afraid to face his problems head on and yet God called him his “Valiant Warrior” (Judges 6:12). Think of a fearful, doubting, and aged Abraham who simply believed God and became the “father of nations”. Think of the artists across the world. Think of the inventors. Think of the writers. The Mother Teresa’s. The Billy Graham’s. The soup kitchen workers. The Dads who love their kids. The husbands who love their wives well. Think of the architects and engineers and dreamers and believers, submitted to God, and changed the world.
One of the bible’s most powerful and consistent themes is God’s unwavering attempt to get us to believe we are of great value to him and that value is purposefully intertwined into our relationships with others. Jesus himself summed it up in one statement, “Love the Lord your God . . . and love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:36-40) We, individually, matter to God and we, individually, matter to others. Your life matters.
We have been given unique desires and giftings, set within us for a purpose. To live out our lives fulfilling “the desires of our hearts” is God’s plan. It brings the Father pleasure. But (and I believe God would say this is even more important) to give our lives away in this way does something in this world that we take utterly for granted — we change other’s lives.
Are you aware of the unique “glory” of your life — your “calling“? **
So much more could be said about all three of these eternal truths. *** I feel I’ve not done them justice for the importance they possess. But I hope they have helped add a measure of clarity to your journey.
Father, why is this truth so hard to hang on to? So much comes against me that feels so ‘true’ that its hard to tell the difference sometimes between the truth and the counterfeit. I know you place great value on who I am. Help me to know this, and help me to help others know its true of them, too. Help me believe what you’ve been trying to tell me all along, and to shut out the voices telling me otherwise. Show me where you’re working in my life.Teach me and develop in me the skills, abilities, and desires I’ll need to live out this unique calling you have placed in me. Give me the courage to let go of the things that busy me in unintentional and unhealthy ways. Help me lay down the hobbies and jobs and relationships and activities that are leading me away rather than toward my calling. I stand in agreement with your plans for me.
Are these truths new to you, or does this serve as a timely reminder?
Is there something you’ve read today that you might need to ponder a few minutes more?
Where might you change how you’ve approaching life or struggles or relationships based on what you’ve just read?
Learning to offer my glory that I might reflect His,
** You can find help in discovering your unique role in the story at www.TheNobleHeart.com website. It is full of helpful articles, audio resources, and books. My life has been forever changed by Gary Barkalow’s book, It’s Your Call and his retreats (and he offers an Online Calling Course)
*** You can read all about these 3 Eternal Truths in the book, “Waking the Dead“, by John Eldredge. (Get info and listen to an audiobook excerpt HERE.)