Sunday, March 10, 2013
The Purpose Driven Life - Day 5
Day 5 - Seeing Life From God's View
"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin
This chapter invites us to examine how we see our lives, and shows us that how we see our lives is in fact much different than how God views our life.
The Bible offers three metaphors that teach us God's view of life: Life is a test, Life is a trust, and life is a temporary assignment. Chapter 5 speaks to the test and the trust. How do we handle the tests God hands us in life? Drawing our awareness to the fact that everything in life is a test - even the weather. And how we respond to situations, people, delayed promises, crisis, death; determines our character.
Pastor Rick reminds us that God never gives us tests which are greater than the grace He has given us to handle them. Of course we know that grace in and of itself is a test. Have you lived your life in God's grace?
I admit that I have not always done so. I have failed many tests in my life, but that is okay - because recognizing the failed tests and knowing that you would handle things differently now - and living in the now with God's grace in future tests is a sign of spiritual growth.
I am a work in progress - as we all are. Or at least this is how we should be viewing ourselves. If we ever reach a point where we feel that we have no more growing to do - no more learning to do - there is no more room for spiritual betterment .. to me ... is an insult to God's assignment for us. And in fact is a failure of a test.
The second metaphor discussed in this chapter is trust. That everything we have is loaned to us by God. Our time here on earth, our children, our money, and yes, even the earth itself. And it is in how we treat and respect the 'trust' we are given from God that determines if we value the gifts of God but also how we will be received by God.
If someone lends you a sweater and you do not take care of it - is it seemingly that they would then lend you their car? And if you were lent a car - and took care of it, you would probably be lent a summer home.
The greater the trust - the greater the responsibility.
Jesus said, "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked."
Could there be a greater blessing than to earn the trust of the Lord? To be deserving of that trust? To accept and fulfill the responsibilities of that in which we are entrusted?
"Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won't be faithful in large ones." - Luke 16:10A (NLT)
Each chapter ends with a question to consider, today's questions are:
What has happened to me recently that I now realize was a test from God? What are the greatest matters God has entrusted to me?
For me, I would say that although I am tested daily, the greatest tests would probably be how I handle my illness each day. I think of it as an obstacle, not a road block. And each day I push through - not crying out 'why me?" but knowing 'why not me?' and pushing through at my own pace. Thankful that I am able to push through and thankful that each day I am a tiny bit stronger than the day before. I also think that finding and losing my father was a huge test! All of the "Whys" that followed his passing just a short time after my having found him. I admit that I questioned God heavily during that time. I felt angry - hurt - grief stricken - abandoned.
I know that pain is a time of reflection for those who wish to use that opportunity to see the answers. And through the pain and through prayer I know that God gave me a tremendous gift. That I was given the opportunity to not only find my father - but to know him - and time for him to know me. Time that I will forever cherish in my heart and soul. I know that the gift was time - that God already determined it would soon be dad's time to leave this place and that a part of His plan was for my father and I to unite before he returned home to be with the Lord. I am forever thankful for this blessing.
The greatest matters God has entrusted to me are many - The knowledge of His word, my calling/purpose, my mind, my spiritual growth, my time on this earth, my beautiful daughter, my family, friends, the life of God's creatures in my care (pets), and the interactions I have with any of His children who cross my path.
I wonder how you would answer those questions...
May peace be with you.