January ’21: Finding Purpose
By Winnie Lai-Fong
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Often when I pray, I find myself glossing over the adoration and confession parts of prayer and going directly into a few thanks and then a much longer list of supplications. Although I know that is not the way God would have liked me to talk to Him, I don’t think I’m alone in doing this. When I pray, I am always asking God for something, seeking His guidance for decisions, knocking and waiting for Him to open doors of opportunities. But our Heavenly Father wants to give me so much more than just what I ask for; He wants me to fulfill the unique purpose that He has for me. When I don’t understand my purpose, I end up asking for the wrong things.
Purpose: noun. the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc. an intended or desired result; end; aim; goal.
What is my life’s purpose? Well, it goes back to understanding and appreciating my relationship with God. He is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. He is my creator.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:13-14
God has created each of us uniquely. We are each given a unique set of talents, strengths, passions, and past experiences. With that, we are uniquely placed to fulfill God’s purpose. For example, Esther was reminded by Mordecai that “… you have come to your royal position for such a time as this” for a reason. Your purpose may not be as grand as Esther’s, but it is no less important in God’s eyes.
I wish I could tell you that I know my purpose. But that would be too neatly packaged, too tidy, too organized. Life is messy. We are all in this chaotic messy life together where the only constant is God’s love and faithfulness. We all make mistakes. We fail, we fall down, but we get back up each time, sustained by His grace, mercy and love.
When I take inventory of what I like doing, what I am good at, and what my past experiences have been, I see elements that make up my life’s purpose. It is a foggy image that is slowly developing on photo paper; it is a picture that is slowly coming into focus, but the whole image is not there yet. To discover God’s purpose for me I will need to spend more time talking with Him, meditating on His word—all accompanied by a healthy dose of self-reflection.
Dear God, You are the creator of heaven and earth, and You are worthy of all praises. Forgive me for not prioritizing You in my everyday life. Thank you for making me unique with all my strengths and weaknesses, my passions, and my experiences. Please guide me as I seek more clarity on Your purpose for me, and please give me the courage to fulfill the role when I see the purpose. Amen.
As we start the New Year, instead of New Year’s resolution, I challenge you to reflect on your life—times where you have seen God at work—and try to find the purpose He has set upon your heart. The journey to find this purpose will be just as rewarding as finding the purpose itself.