“All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.” Hebrews 11: 3
"Mama, why do I have brown eyes and Sarah has blue eyes and Joel is so tall and Nathan has freckles and you and Daddy don't look alike?"
They say the average 4 year old asks almost 100 questions a day. But my little one was landing on a profound truth--none of us is the same. We are all different. Each snow flake has its own design--God was trying to tell us something! He love uniqueness. He does not compare us to each other. He intended for us not to conform but to live into the freedom we each have to discover the ways that will best serve our own family and our own situations.
Your children and marriage and finances and story will be uniquely different than anyone else you will ever meet. Why in the world do we attempt to follow formulas when we can see that our puzzles of life are so vastly different?
Each of us has a different life puzzle of life to assemble in order to bring order and to make sense out of all the pieces. The choices you make in the midst of your life journey do have eternal consequences. Yes, you can throw the pieces at God in anger and say, "I do not like the life you have given me, and I refuse to live within these limitations with a humble heart. You have made me a victim. You have ruined my life. I will choose to live in darkness." If that is your choice, the puzzle of your life will remain fragmented and separated, with holes in the picture.
However, if you choose to bow your knee and submit to the varied circumstances of your life, God will do miracles. If you choose to trust and develop your integrity and an inner standard of holiness that isn't dependent on cultural standards, the puzzle pieces will begin to come together. No matter what your limitations are--health issues, financial problems, a difficult marriage or divorce, a loss of friendship, death of a dream--your life is meant to be filled to the brim with the potential of God's blessings. But in order to thrive and heal, you must accept any limitations by faith, trust in His faithfulness each step of the way, and wait for His grace so you can live a faithful story right in the place you find yourself.
If you embrace your unique puzzle of life, you will find wholeness. As you look to God to slowly figure out how to put the pieces together, you will see a beautiful picture emerge. Your story lived faithfully will become your glory--the place where He builds messages, provides answers to prayer, and teaches wisdom.
I have a collection of teacups and mugs. Each is different in size, shape, and color--but every one of them is functional and beloved by my family. In the same way, each of our lives is unique. Our differences do not devalue our intrinsic worth, but they do create a different design. I have always told my children, "You might as well decide to like God's will for your life, since your circumstances are probably not going to change just because you wish they would."
I have also told them that life is not fair in this world--we may have to be faithful to difficult circumstances our whole lives on this earth--because this is not the final place, yet!
Jesus told us to lay up our treasures in heaven. When we accept the fallenness of this world, we learn how better to live into the moment.
"We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, who are called according to His purpose." ~ Romans 8:28
What defines and makes your life distinct? What resources do you have? What do you consider to be advantages to your particular puzzle? Are there any areas that seem impossible at this moment that you need to put into God's hands?
"Trust in the Lord and do good. Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness." ~ Psalm 37:3
Learning to see each turn in the road and each unique circumstance as a part of what God has ordained has helped me find purpose at each juncture. I ask Him, Lord, what can I learn from this? What message at this moment might prepare me to encourage someone in the same circumstances later? Show me Your faithfulness now so I can keep learning.
~from Own Your Life, which you can find here: