If someone were to ask you for a picture to describe your life, what would you think of?
Your answer to this question can help reveal how you feel about yourself, how you feel about others and how you feel about God. It can help you to understand the values which underpin your thoughts and your actions.
All of us have a view of our our lives that shapes us, and when we start to really look at it we can begin to see the holes and the things holding us back from being all we can be. Some people will focus more on the negative aspects of their lives and so they naturally fall into the trap of expecting more of this. They only see the negative threads within their story. Equally some people will mainly see their lives in a positive light and this drives them forwards seeing opportunity in problems.
In ‘The Purpose Driven Life’, Warren talks about how some people could describe their lives, perhaps as a rollercoaster, a circus, a dance or a journey (and the list could on). Each life view has an impact on how they live their lives. For example, if someone saw their life as a party, their main goal would be to have fun and their priorities would be centred around this.
How would you describe your life?
Warren compares this to what the bible says, and shows how life can be a test, a trust and a temporary assignment.
Life is a test
God tests his people throughout the bible and he does the same now. He tests our character and how we respond to challenging situations, he tests our love for people when things get difficult. He tests our integrity and if we stay true to our word when it may be easier not to. He tests our honesty, obedience, joy and our steadfastness, often at the time when we would really rather not be tested in that area.
We are constantly being tested be it in the small or the big things. It might be in something painful and overwhelming, or it may just be in that time when your conscience is pricked but because no-one is watching, you are tempted to do it.
When you make that right choice, God sees it and will reward it.
God tests our faith through problems that we come up against and He tests our love through people. Sometimes I have problems just loving my (very loveable) friends and family, and so I find it exra hard to love those who are more unloveable. I might avoid dealing with the more ‘tricky’ people if I feel I might be irritated or perhaps even rejected. But I know i’m called to more then that, i’m called to love those who are difficult to get along with too.
When I look back, I can see the most significant time of my life that I really felt my faith was shaken was when I had a miscarriage, nearly 4 years ago. I doubted that I could even speak to or hear God, I doubted his goodness and wondered where he had gone.
I felt him go silent on me when I needed his compassion the most.
The bible says that the lord is close to those whose hearts are breaking and mine was, so where was he? I felt myself closing down, not wanting to come to God and pray. I have come to see that God was there- he was there in Matt, he was there in my friends and family and he was holding me in my moments of grief and then giving me relief from the sadness with moments of joy and laughter.
I learned that if you stay open to God- although it is sometimes very painful- God will begin to bring you healing and do the work of rebuilding your heart.
Gods’ word is truer then how we feel.
Whether we can feel him or not- he is there, going ahead of us and preparing the works for us to do. He is there with us, grieving and wiping away every tear. He is there and he hears every prayer.
Life is a trust
We have been entrusted with life, with opportunities with gifts and with relationships. We have been given a unique responsibility from God to do his work and he has given us everything we need to do it, and because it is unique for each of us we mustn’t compare ourselves with others.
All tests and things entrusted to us are for a purpose and if we are proven faithful with them, they are generally followed by more responsibility, more faith, better character and always a closer relationship with God.
‘Well done good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
Submit your life to God and ask to see it through his eyes, let him mould and shape you and put you on the path you are meant to be.
Trust He has given you all you need, to do what He is calling you to do.
Life is a temporary assignment
Life is brief. Compared to eternity we are nothing but vapour.
‘Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die’ psalm 103.15
This could be depressing to hear that we just come and go like flowers, and could make you think ‘what is the point?’, but actually although life is short, every day is a gift. With each new day there is an opportunity to live out God’s plan and it is an adventure! And like all adventures it has its ups and downs, its successes and its disappointments. Knowing that it is all temporary helps us to put everything into perspective, knowing that both the good and the bad have their purpose in our journey but they aren’t the purpose.
I pray that you can see your life as God sees it and that you would see more clearly his love and his plan for you. I pray that you can stay focused on where God is leading you, fulfilling your unique role and being able to love all those God puts in your path.