December 10, 2010

for such a time as this

"life isn't about finding yourself. life is about creating yourself." george bernard shaw

this semester i've received many lessons in learning how to listen. i've done so by listening to countless numbers of my friends share their life stories with me and give me brief glimpses of their paths to here. friends that i've known for what seems like forever revealing stories that i've never taken the time to learn.

one was physically abused by her father till the age of 10. one had to endure the ostracism of being single and pregnant at 19. one was a preacher's son who rebelled under the pressure and expectations of those watching him. one was cheated on by a boyfriend. one was cheated on by a husband. one was raised in an environment where he was simply never told about GOD. one contemplated suicide. one waits as his parents contemplate divorce. one in her 30s still holds on to the dream of a husband and children. one is still trying to let go of the dreams of days past.

listening to these stories has revealed to me that we all share one thing in common: our imperfect paths. the truth is that we all have a past and need the blood of CHRIST to erase it. even the most put-together people are broken. maybe we're not born with baggage, but after time, no matter how carefully we try to avoid it, we all collect our own, unique baggage. and the luggage we carry cannot help but affect the journey we take. the path that GOD calls us to walk is winding and twisted, and no matter how beautiful and perfect the path on which we started was, eventually we find ourselves in a dark forest, tripping on roots and becoming entangled in thorns. sometimes the path seems worn and the road seems long, and sometimes we feel unlovable, useless, and ineffective.

but GOD has the unique ability to use our pasts, mistakes, and misfortunes for us. if rahab hadn't decided to hide foreign spies in her house. if ruth didn't lose her first husband and happen to stumble upon a field belonging to boaz. if david hadn't decided to take a walk on his roof. if tamar hadn't played a little trick on judah. without jeconiah, jehosophat, and uzziah... there'd be no JESUS.

it is empowering to embrace our present situations. our current circumstances. to attend and to be aware of each moment. and it is empowering to embrace our pasts. not to let them hinder us, but to let them help us. to embrace our life stories so far. to understand that every bad thing that's ever happened to us, every bad decision we've ever made, every wrong turn we've taken on our paths has led us to here and now. and to understand that we were made for such a time as this. to be exactly who we are, baggage and all.

maybe the life you dreamed of living is not the life you're creating. maybe you thought you'd be married by now. or maybe you're learning why everyone told you not to marry the person whom you did. maybe you're struggling to get your degree. or maybe you received a degree and have a job you dread doing. maybe you're a divorced mom. maybe you're a widowed dad. maybe you're a young adult afraid of growing up. maybe you've finally got your struggles under control. or maybe you struggle daily to break free of your web of sin.

if you're single, you have the enviable position of devoting your life completely to the LORD with no distractions. if you're married, you have the opportunity of blessing another person's life daily. if you're a college student, you are receiving a gift that many will never receive. if you hate your job, you have the ability to choose to make it the best job ever. if you have maintained a temporary hold on your struggles, you have the opportunity to be an example and inspiration to all who share that struggle. if you can't break free of your sin, you have the opportunity to share your humanity and to seek help from other people.

whatever your circumstances are, use them. embrace them. take the good. make it better. get rid of the bad. don't be bitter. use everything that has ever happened to you and is currently happening to you to create yourself. live as if you were made for this moment. because who knows if your singularity, the loss of your husband, your poor high school choices, the loss of your job, your long struggle in sin, your victory in JESUS did not make you exactly who you are for such a time as this?

"and who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?" esther 4:14

1 comment:

  1. This is awesome and amazing! It is beautifully written!

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