Updated: May 31
Listening to "Frozen" is like reading a page out of my diary. Some of my worst fears are being forgotten and that has a lot to do with the sense of purposelessness I have long struggled with. Imagine being given so many options but with no clear indication of which one you're meant to choose. Even worse, imagine that none of those options is the one you really want. If you know what I'm talking about, you could probably relate to the song. I do believe God is big enough to handle all the frivolous questions we throw at Him, but I also know that sometimes we're too scared to even ask. This song is me asking. The beautiful irony of it all is that I felt the most purposeful writing this song/rant about my feelings of purposelessness. Coincidence? I'd like to think not. :)
Purposelessness. What a scary word that most of us must face at some point in our lives. What on earth am I here for? I don't have a one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter solution to hard, existential questions, but what I do have is the lesson I learned struggling with this word. What I'd like to focus on is not the WHAT (which is often the question tied to our purpose - WHAT is it?), but the WHO (and there is a Who). In the book of Jeremiah, God pronounces judgment on numerous nations for their wickedness, and yet, there's one thing in common that caught my attention - that it is God who claims ownership of the plans and purposes of their future. Take a look at these verses:
Jeremiah 49:20, "Therefore hear the plan that the Lord has made against Edom and the purposes that he has formed against the inhabitants of Teman..."
Jeremiah 50:45a, "Therefore hear the plan that the Lord has made against Babylon, and the purposes that he has formed against the land of the Chaldeans..."
These plans and purposes that God had for those nations are not something we would wish for in our lives but think about it this way - if God is in charge of the purposes of even the most wicked nations who have denied Him and have instead pridefully sought refuge in their own treasures (Jeremiah 49:4), how much more will He have good plans and purposes for us - His children? Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Yes, this was God's promise to the Israelites when they were facing exile, but what we can glean from this is that it is God who has the plans and it is Him who is in charge of the future. We can debate about what God's "good" plans are but according to Romans 8:28-29, we are told that our good is our being conformed to Christlikeness.
In all of this, I am reminded of God's sovereignty over my life. True faith and security in that does not lead to some kind of divine fatalism, but trust in and obedience to His will. Now, the real question for me is, if I know that it is God who has my purposes laid out in His book and not me, then how could my life possibly be purposeless? God never feels that way looking at my life and how comforting is that for me to know. All along I was struggling with WHAT my purpose was when I just needed to be reminded that WHO is in charge of it is more important. I may not know what His purposes for my life are at the moment, but I know He won't punish me for it. He just hasn't revealed it to me yet. But whatever He has given me now, I will be faithful with, trusting that as I take more steps, the path will be made clearer. Besides, I'm yet to find a passage of scripture that commands me to "find your purpose in the work of your hands." Maybe submitting daily to the Spirit as He forms Christ's character in us is the truest goal of purpose we can set our minds and hearts on. I don't know about you, but to me that feels like a huge burden lifted off my shoulders!
"The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man."
"I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’"
Isaiah 46: 9b,10