SHE does not know her purpose
I’m part of a dying breed of jigsaw puzzle lovers. Not really sure where the interest came from, but I remember begging my mom for a nice 1000 piece puzzle of an English cottage or ocean view scene as a child. I’d clear off my bedroom table and dump out all 1000 pieces to be sorted. I had a whole process. First, I’d clear off all the loose shavings that came with any new puzzle set. Then, I’d meticulously start flipping over all the pieces so I could see what each puzzle piece looked like. Once, I had made a decent enough workspace, I began to eagerly find matching pieces.
As I got deeper into this underground puzzle world, I would challenge myself to only look at the box once to get an idea of the final picture. Using a snapshot of my memory I would attempt to separate the 100s of pieces that contained the same color or appeared to almost fit into one another. Working almost blindly over the course of several days, I would sometimes need to take a break, step back and review what groups of pieces I had managed to match together. There were puzzle patches all over the table with a heap of unmatched puzzle pieces just wanting to be joined with their inanimate neighbors. In the nerdiest of ways, I would let out a shout of excitement when I was able to link together two large sections to form a greater portion of the big puzzle. As this began to occur, the bigger picture of what I was putting together became more real. I could more clearly see what direction I was heading in and could make faster adjustments when I had more visual information. I had a clear understanding of my purpose.
What happens when you don’t know your purpose? I know...that was almost hard to type out, let alone admit to a group of believers who may seem to have everything figured out. But to be quite honest I came to realize, I have no idea what my purpose is. With my finite wisdom I have reasoned that because my good Father in heaven knows me so much better than I know myself, He knew that if I had the big picture, I would probably try to hijack any opportunity I could to fulfill His purpose MY way. But I don’t feel so alone. There are so many events in the Bible that highlight great men and women that could not rely on their current situation to predict their greater purpose.
Esther was a orphan who was chosen out of several women to become Queen.
”...and who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
Joseph was betrayed by his brothers and sold into slavery only to become Governor over the Pharaoh’s land
“Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.”
Paul hated Christians only to become one of the bible’s most notorious ones.
“ For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.”
What I love about these biblical legends is that their purposes were not very clear when they first started walking in it. They all were the product of God’s open or shut doors that allowed them to become great reminders that God has a purpose for everyone, even if you can’t see it.
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Not everyone is told their purpose like Noah. He had not seen an ark before, but he at least was given the blueprints to design it. Some of us, are lead one step at a time. In hindsight maybe that breakup that you thought you would never recover from turned into the foundation for your faith so you can help a broken hearted friend or hundreds of other people overcome their own pain through your testimony. Maybe that job that you weren’t qualified to receive, was the catalyst for you to meet your future business partner for a ministry that will bring many people into God’s Kingdom.
I used to be concerned about my uncertainty about what my official purpose was. I felt condemned that I didn’t have a “He told me I would be a missionary” story like it was a rite of passage to the final level of Christianity. Now instead, I try to pay attention to the situations in life that challenge my comfort zone and force me to operate outside of my box. We don’t always have to know our purpose to walk in it.
I try to take joy in the situations that should bring me to tears because I know that God is not a wasteful God. He uses every piece of my life to make a beautiful final product. So if God has not told you exactly what your ‘big picture’ purpose is, take heart that every life situation is a beautifully planned jigsaw piece that is waiting to be used.
Do you know your official purpose in life?
If not, what are some ways that you are walking in purpose even if you can't see it?