Goals. To do lists. We all have them. They look differently in each our lives, some of them more planned out than others, but the most miserable among us is the one who is walking aimlessly around, without determining the purpose for which he lives. In some ways, this plays out in our day to day living. Regardless, when death draws near, we all are going to ask (if given the forewarning or chance): what did I do while I was here? What was the purpose in it all?
This part of our journey has been pretty silent. There are test results pending that won’t come back for at least another month. Hugh is on the night shift, which means working at night and sleeping during the day. It seems like the days are filled with therapy, doctor appointments, home therapy, feeding, then bed. I sometimes feel as if I am paddling around the same small lake, or pond really, over and over again , without any inkling that I am going to be getting out. This analogy became depressing to me the other day, as it felt so real. Even sadder, I realized the girls had only known this pond, and it feels like they have no idea that a huge river sits a few steps away. Lies.
I am passionate about so many different things. When it comes to a career, I had a million different life plans for myself. I was never really stressed out about figuring out what I was supposed to choose; I just wanted to do it all. But God. You see, I see His faithfulness in it all. I see His footprints in the different parts of my journey that I have needed to be carried; His love enveloping me throughout. Him. Even in the here and now. Writing has always been my greatest passion. And here God is, taking our greatest pain and struggle and using it as an outlet to use the gifts He has given us. Grace.
The past few years, we have been graced with the opportunity to be taught under our pastor, David Platt. He is stepping down from that position in order to step into a position in which God has clearly called him. As he was talking to our church body about how He knew this was God’s calling in his life, I realized something: it was obvious to me the gifts that he has been given are absolutely perfect for the position which he is taking as president of the International Mission Board. We will miss him; but as there is a season for everything, his season at the Church at Brook Hills is coming to a close and we rejoice and celebrate all that God is going to do next, both in his family’s life and in our own church’s life. While I think most our church body could have told him months ago that he would be gifted for the position, God walked David and his sweet wife Heather through a process of determining this was God’s doing. Why? Because, as David said it last night, the goal is not the choices we make or the decision at the end. The goal is always God Himself. More of Him and less of me. It hit me in such a poignant way as these words left his heart and made their way to the pews. Here I am, feeling like I’m in some small pond, when I have been in the rivers of God all along. In all things and all seasons, He has been leading me on in an adventure to Himself. The word says this,
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father”. Colossians 3:17
Whatever we do. Giving thanks through Him. You see, even our ability to thank Him in the midst comes from Him and Him alone, for “from Him and through Him and for Him are all things” (Romans 11:36).
To some, these may seem like elementary truths. In ways, yes. But really, this is the crux of the Gospel: that in all our seasons, in our questions, in our struggles and in our joys, the goal is always more of Him. At the end of the day, in all our lives, the point is Him. And, how true it is that we would not know Him in the ways we do without all the pieces of the story He is writing. I think back on the past year, and whether God chooses to heal our girls on this side of heaven or the next, I am positive that this whole thing has been worth it. It has been beautiful both in our little family’s life and in the kingdom. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, I know that I would not know Him in the ways that I do had He not allowed our family to be rocked by this new normal. The purpose isn’t for me to be faithful in trusting until we get a diagnosis. It’s not to begrudgingly walk through the day to day, joyless but hopeful. No. The point is to be led closer and closer to an all-knowing, all-loving, active God who is always and forever up to something. May I never mistaken His silence for lack of provision or lack of care. No. If He is being silent, rest assured it is for purpose. He is doing something. Knowing that the goal is Him changes everything. It causes us to smile at whatever is in front or ahead, knowing that our hearts and minds should always be fixated on Him, the author and perfector of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2). It reminds us, even in the mundane and in-betweens, that our purpose and our joy is still the same. Him.
So many people have said that Hugh and I must have big faith to continue to praise God in this story, and I am here to tell you that is not the case. We do not have big faith, but we serve a big God who is carrying us through it all. We are told if we have faith as big as a mustard seed than we can move mountains (Luke 17:6), but rest assured that power always comes from Him and Him alone. We are given this ability because of Christ, by God’s grace, and it is done through His Spirit. His doings, never our own. As my friend Kara says (whose book comes out, The Hardest Peace, on October 1st, and whose blog you should read to find out more: www.mundanefaithfulness.com): our prayer is always that we will stay beautifully kept in it all.
Where does this leave you today? Friend, the goal is Him. Whether you are bogged down by the day to day or coasting through easy moments, He is it. He is the purpose in it all. As He leads us down His rivers of mercy, let’s trust Him as the captain of our ship. Let’s never mistaken these rivers for our own little pond, for He is much, much bigger. Grains of sand in His infinite beach. Yes, you are a grain of sand. But He knows your name and He wants to give you the chance to know Him more deeply in all that today holds. We are not promised tomorrow. Let’s look to Him as the One who truly brings purpose to our days. He is the goal. He is worthy.