God made you for a reason. God created your life to have purpose. God planned you with great intentions to be an incredible part of His story.
My mission in life is to encourage with love, passion and enthusiasm. I believe that I can please God by passionately encouraging and praying for others because I think it will uplift them to God Himself.
Now I can acknowledge that I believe this to the core of my being. It is how I can love God with all my heart, all my mind, all of my strength and all of my soul. It is how I love others.
But, so many days I loose track. I get distracted. I turn a different direction. I take my eyes off the goal. I allow others to heap responsibilities on my to do list. I take on tasks that lie outside of my mission because they seem to attach themselves like barnacles to that which I long to do, but they take more time, energy and effort to deal with – not to mention that they weigh me down.
I experience exhaustion. I fight fatigue and frustration. I weep over weary emotions. I sluggishly seek escapes and distractions. I face internally battles between what I feel in my body, mind and heart.
But every single day I open my eyes. I wake up to a God who has been faithfully working, tending to details in my life and the lives of billions of others during every breath I slept. From the seconds of the first turnings and blinks of my awakenings, I am being washed and cleansed by God’s mercies.
It saddens me how many days that I can roll right out of bed and march towards those nagging tasks that keep me busy. I try to start my day with dedicated Bible study and prayer, but I am often times distracted or called elsewhere to help. Sometimes my heart just does not seem to be in it.
I press on towards all that I did not accomplish yesterday, with all of its “I should haves” and “why didn’t I’s”. I see the work of my mission. I look at it and wish that I could have more time for it. I may even make a promise to myself that I will make time later. Oh how many days I do not keep those promises.
Here is one of the great ironies. If I stopped to do just a little each and every day, then I would make progress. It would not be perfect, it may not even be noticed by anyone else, but I would know and God would know. How much easier would it be to deal with those barnacles on the ship of my life if I had taken the time to tend the work that God has clearly given me.
“Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.”
1 Corinthians 12:7 NIV
For the common good. Shared good. Good for You. Good for Me. Good for us Both.
It is easy to see how good the work we do can be for others, but it is also good for ourselves.
I once heard or read a message, I can not remember which, about Spiritual gifts in Chapter 12 of 1 Corinthians. The bit that I took away from the message was that the gifts that God has given us to use will have this miraculous motivating power in our lives when we use them. Using them will restore us, will renew us and regenerate us to press on and persevere.
It seems counter intuitive that doing more work will energize us rather than drain us. God does work in such ways that we can hardly believe it. I do not know about you, but I can attest to this myself.
Here are some small ways that I live out my mission. I write cards. I email prayers. I write letters. I send brief text messages. I leave notes on facebook pages. I leave seemingly random voice mails. These are all little things. Little expense of time, talent and treasure. I rarely even get to see the faces of those I do these things for. Many times I do not even get a response to know that it was received.
But it is not about the feedback. The bit that I do get is often so generous and humbling that I hardly know how to accept it. I do not want the glory to go to me, but to our God, without whom I would never be able to do what I do. It’s Him, it really is.
When I experience the common good is during the process along the way. I can not tell you the number of times that I have wept over a prayer I was writing, or a card or a letter. I feel stress, anxiety, hurt, frustration, freedom, grace, mercy, joy, happiness, laughter, smiles and more all while I am writing these things. So many times I sit in awe of what my own hand has typed or my pen has written.
I smile down to my heart when I say that all that I write and speak, it is good for me. Even when I mean it to be purposed for the good of others, I can not prevent it from being good for me too.
A Little Way, Every Day
This morning I wrote two cards and placed them in my mailbox for delivery. Now I type to share all of these thoughts with whoever chooses to be a blessing to me by reading them. This is my little way, today.
Now I challenge you my dear reader…
What are you going to do today?
What little way can you live out that spiritual gift that you have been given? What can you do that can be a common good, benefiting others as well as yourself? When you have figured that out, then go do it! I believe in you. God believes in you. He will be there to help you. I’m cheering you on in my prayers today.
Sweet and Beloved Lord,
You are just amazing! Oh how You must smile down upon us when we use the gifts that You uniquely designed us for. Lord, Your ways really are not our ways. It just doesn’t seem right that doing more work would energize us, rather than drain us. But it’s not about doing more work, it is about doing the right work.
Lord, we know that there is always going to be work that we just do not want or like to do in our lives. But thank You so much for giving us work that will help us to persevere through it all, for giving us work that is crafted for the greater good. May You receive an abundance of glory each and every day that we commit to finding a way to put our gifts into action.
Lord, I specifically lift up each and every one of my readers to You today. Lord, I may not personally know them all, but You do. You know their fears and failures. You know their greatest success and victories. You know what has been and You know what there is to come. You know ever so intimately the gifts that You have given them. You know what is standing in their way and preventing them from truly walking in all that You have for them.
Lord, I pray a rich blessing upon each of my readers today. Lord, for those who feel lost, show them their next step. Lord, for those who feel torn and frustrated, please make them whole and ease their pain. Lord, for those who are tired and weary, given them rest. Lord, for those who have fallen, please place Your tender hand below their chins and lift their eyes to You. Lord, for those who are standing on the top of the mountains they have been climbing, may they hear Your voice celebrating with them.
Lord, for us all, may we be convicted to follow You even when it does not make sense and when we receive no feedback, that we may persevere to experience the common good that You have promised us.
In the name of Jesus the Beloved, amen.