From Diane B to Gary Rich -
GOD'S PURPOSE FOR OUR LIVES
It isn't always ours to know. I think it is more a matter of BEING, than of DOING, of being a willing servant for the Lord, ready and waiting for His Master's call. We can't run ahead of Him, trying to do for Him what may not be His calling for us.
Sometimes, God's will for us is just WAITING in silence. Our prayers may bounce off the ceiling, we may be going through a dry spell, and all that time God is teaching us something. It is different for each one of us. Patience? Trust? Teaching us discipline? Preparing us for something new?
Some of us work for the Lord behind the scenes, hidden from public view in intercessory prayer, getting no praise or notice. But we are shut away with Him, and our purpose glorifies Him. Our heart's cry is, "Here am I, Lord, send me." If we yield our hearts and minds and souls to the Lord when we ask Him to be our Savior, we are no longer our own, we are bought with a price. God is always full of surprises for us. God is using each one of us in His own ways, and God has a mission for us. We may be intersecting another person's life or influencing someone in ways we may never know.
Thirty-five years ago, I was visiting a girlfriend and her husband, across the country from where I lived. We were having breakfast in a nice restaurant, and I had recently had my Born-Again experience. I was eager to share my newfound faith with my unbeliever friends. The things that I spoke to them, I don't know if they sank in or not, I doubt it. (They are staunch atheists to this day.) But I couldn't help but notice that every time I spoke the name of Jesus, I saw the back of the head of a man seated at a table near us, jerk like someone had stuck him with a pin. He was listening to me. I was witnessing to HIM, without knowing it. My message was reaching another soul. I was there for that purpose, and the Lord may have just sent me from California to New Hampshire just to have breakfast with my girlfriend, to save that one man's soul. He didn't tell me. We'll never know until we get to heaven, all things will be revealed, when we will all be presented with our rewards.
Sometimes it takes decades to be able to look back and see how God was working His plan in our lives, all along, and we just didn't know it. Our fervent prayers remained unanswered because He had a better, higher purpose than all of our lofty desires. Surely, Goodness and Mercy shall FOLLOW us, all the days of our lives. You have to look back, to see where they have been following us, all along. God's will for our lives is to love Him and to strive to conform ourselves to His image. I never would have guessed at that time, that my plain, ordinary life as a housewife and mother, was fulfilling many purposes for Him. I wasted a lot of years, feeling I was useless to the Lord and my life had no meaning. Now, I see His footsteps beside me all the way.
Just being obedient, available, open to listen to the leading of the Spirit of God, that is our mission. I've never heard the Lord tell me, "This is my plan for your life." He leads, I follow. That's it. Thy will, not mine, be done. He's taken me down some strange paths, through a burning fiery desert or two, and those were the sweetest times when I drew closest to Jesus.
I have another experience in my walk with the Lord that I want to share. One day, my lung spontaneously collapsed. There wasn't much pain at first, so I drove myself to the hospital. As I pulled into the parking lot, I prayed, "Lord, don't let this be a waste. Don't let Satan get the victory over this. Let this be for your glory." The next morning, as I lay in my hospital bed, a woman in a bathrobe whom I'd never seen before, wandered into my room. After an exchange of just a few words, she asked me, "Where do you get your peace?" I answered her, "Jesus." She said, "Oh, you mean be Born Again?" I said yes. Within 5 minutes we were holding hands and she was repeating the sinner's prayer of salvation with me. Later I learned that her niece had been praying for this dear woman and witnessing to her for years. I was there, to be blessed with the honor of bringing in this dear Jewish woman to salvation through Jesus Christ. She had breast cancer and died a few months later. No one was there to see what I had done, there was no applause. Our work may never be known to anyone else, not even ourselves, but God.