Purpose

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April 30

Tuesday, April 30th, 2024

TROUBLE WILL VISIT ALL OF US!

What I just wrote is nothing new to anyone. To borrow a common phrase: “Stuff happens.” (I don’t talk the other way. 🙂 ) We ALL KNOW that sooner or later we are going to hit a rough patch.

Recently, while reading another book, I read about CURE Hospital, a series of hospitals established in places like Kenya and other hard hit areas.  Sort of like Doctors Without Borders and Mercy Ship, CURE was established for doctors to help “the least of these.” One such person was Michael Panther. Michael was an active boy who would soon be training for the Sudan army when his legs grew weaker, then quit working. The civil war in South Sudan displaced him, and to make a long story short, he ended up in a CURE hospital where he was diagnosed with tuberculosis of the spine. To make another long story short, Michael spends his days in a wheelchair. But he has not allowed that to stop him following God’s direction, help and work. Michael now makes wheelchairs available to people in other countries who need them through his non-profit, Living With Hope. (You can read his fascinating and inspiring story in his book Living With Hope by Michael Panther).

During his “expansion” period, when the dream was born in his heart, he met Joni Eareckson Tada, the “champion” for the disabled who was paralyzed as a teenager from a diving accident. He had the chance to not only meet Joni, but to work with her ministry, Joni and Friends. In his book, Michael wrote down some of Joni’s statements that day. Here are three:

“God permits what he hates, to accomplish that which He loves.”

“I realized that God does not take pleasure in my spinal cord injury, but He loves the way He is changing me in it and encouraging others through it.”

“God has not abandoned those with disabilities. No, He is working through them.”   (All quotes from pages 141-142)

All of us-no matter our lot in life-have a purpose. Healthy or whole. Mobile or in a chair. Unencumbered or disabled. We all matter and we all have a purpose. Find yours. Fulfill it.

March 27

Monday, March 27th, 2023

Why do you exist? What is your purpose in this life? Seriously, why do you live on this planet?

Are you just taking up space?

Are you living for yourself, seeking personal fulfillment?

Are you trying to make a difference in the world, and more specifically, in the life of others?

I recently read about a poll taken that asked Americans what they thought was their main purpose in life. You might think the main results would be “To make a contribution to society” or “To have a meaningful life.”

Nope.

The majority said, “Life is enjoyment and personal fulfillment.”  So…in other words…live for yourself.  Sounds like the old Grassroots song: “Sha la la la live for today.” (A ’60s song…look it up).

Years ago Pastor John Piper wrote a book entitled “Don’t Waste Your Life.” That about sums it up.  You can waste your life pursuing trivial pursuits and living for yourself or you can live it for the benefit of others. There is a quote which has made it rounds and no man really knows where it came from. It was used by Harry Emerson Fosdick in 1942 but it had circulated for years before he made it popular.

A man who is all wrapped up in himself makes a mighty small package.

Benjamin Franklin said,

A self-centered person is not very appealing to others.

A person who lives for himself is indeed a very small package. As a follower of Christ, my life is to be lived for Him and for His glory. Jesus Himself said, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

Don’t waste your life on yourself. Spend it by giving it away to others.