“Nothing matters more than knowing God’s purposes for your life, and nothing can compensate for not knowing them—not success, wealth, fame, or pleasure. Without a Purpose, life is nothing without meaning, activity without direction, and events without reason. Without a purpose, life is trivial, petty, and pointless.”
Purpose is revealed to us as we come to the Lord to heal all the challenges, traumas, and difficulties of our lives. Whatever that might have been in your life, God is in it with us ready to heal all these sorrows, so that we can understand, truly comprehend, where we could be of the most use to Him in our lives. What do we know better than what it is like to live through these awful things in our lives? And, doesn’t it occur to you that as the Lord heals you of these traumas that you could be truly helpful to other people who are suffering the same thing that you did, but are still captive to the trauma. Think of the alcoholics who are helping to healing in Alcoholics Anonymous; when they recovered from the addiction, they turn around to help others do the same.
I’ve read of a woman who raised a disabled daughter who finally graduated from college in her mid-thirties. Now she is helping other parents with disabled children. Who do we want to turn to when we’re in trouble? The person who has “been there, done that,” who knows the territory of our problem and what really helps. Oh, there are lots of people who think they know exactly what anyone with a problem should do, but would we really trust that they know what we should do without any experience? No.
My own worst experience was to grow up in a hell-fire-and-damnation church in Louisville KY from the time I was an infant until I was 13. Then my family moved to Wilmington DE and the church there that we joined as a mainline Presbyterian Church. But all I heard there made little impression on me, because in those formative years I was taught to obey a God who was vengeful, capricious, and punitive. The image I had of God was of a raven sitting on my shoulder ready to zap me for anything I did wrong. In my late 20’s I am out of the church, but I find that that negative image of God weighs heavily on my life. Fortunately, about 10 years later I did hear God’s call and did surrender my life to Him without knowing what I was doing. I knew because I walked on air for three days when I came crashing down to earth with this thought: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me!” And so, began a journey following Christ that changed my whole view of God and everything else, too. Now I live in gratitude and love and forgiveness and purpose. Quite a while after this happening in my life I was drawn to spiritual direction training and became a spiritual director which I loved. But I think my purpose has had more to do with the writing a blog and four books from the point of view of a spiritual director: how do I, how do we live, this life in Christ?
What was the worst thing that happened to you in your life? Have you prayed to God to heal that event/trauma/difficulty? What was the lesson you were to learn from having that event in your life? And how might you help others who endured the same circumstances to gain the healing you have had from the Lord? God will show you the way to your own healing and then to what you are to do now to fulfill your purpose. There is nothing that resonates more with us than to help other people through the same circumstances that we endured. There is nothing more fulfilling, even more humbling than to walk with them into the same minefield that you survived and are now healed from. It takes some time of following Jesus and lifting up our prayers for healing to Him for our purpose to be revealed. But, as we walk this road, we will feel lighter and lighter as we go, because the healing that God does in us will let release our sorrow and pain and anything else associate with the trauma.
Announcement: I am sad to announce the closing of the By The Waters Blog at the end of this month. I have been writing it for fifteen years, weekly for twelve years, but the Lord is asking me to end it. You will be able to access the archives of all I have written on my websites, patsaidadams.com and deepeningyourfaith.com. By January of 2024 I will have the blog posts arranged by topic, so you can find the topics that most interest you. I have no idea what God has in store for me in place of this blog, but I am sure that I will find out pretty soon. Thank you for being a faithful reader. Many blessings, Pat Adams
Questions to ponder over the week: Has God revealed your purpose to you? Have you turned to Him to heal all the trauma in your life? If not, what would it take for you to ask for His help? What would you have to give up? Self-protection? Fear? What? In order to ask for His help? Can you imagine what your life would be like if the trauma and its effects on you were gone from your life?
Blessing for the week: May we be the people of God who have been healed of all our pain. May we live in freedom and lightness of being, no longer burdened by those events.
Check out my two websites: patsaidadams.com and deepeningyourfaith.com.
- I am giving away a 10-week journaling guide to Jesus’s Two Great Commandments. If you are interested, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will email it to you, free of charge.
- My latest books, “Called to Help the Poor and Needy” and “A Study Guide to the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount” are now in bookstores and on line. The first is about the more than 2,000 verses in the Bible which detail God’s instructions for caring for those in need. The second is a journaling/pondering guide to Jesus’s most complete sermon.
 Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life: What On Earth Am I Here For?, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing Company, 2012) p.34