A Wasted Life

“Dear God. You know I really love this man, but I’m not sure I should marry him.”

Like many young-adults, I had plenty of real and imagined issues in my early twenties, however, the good man I had fallen for was definitely not one of them.

David was honorable, handsome, patient, and perhaps most importantly, not fazed by all my aggresssive twenty-something angst. In fact, he was the calm and steady answer to many of my people’s faithful prayers.

My big problem wasn’t with being able to identify and appreciate a decent man. Rather, it was that I was ready and willing to GO AND DO BIG THINGS FOR GOD and David wasn’t any closer to selling his ’85 Honda Accord and moving to Africa with me.

“Argh!! God!? How can I marry a man who doesn’t share my call to serve you in an extraordinary way? Aren’t you the one who planted this in my heart? Is this some sort of test? A sign from heaven? A closed-door? A deal-breaker?”

Lord have mercy. Lord hear my prayer.

“God?! Are you listening? How can I make a decision to live a comfortable married suburban life while the rest of the world suffers? Am I selling out? Am I denying you? I don’t understand why he doesn’t feel called to the suffering of the world? If he loves me (and if he loves you, Father) THEN WHY WON’T HE GO?”

I recently read an article that said the biggest fear for Christian women in my generation is that they don’t want to waste their lives. As a minister to women, I think this rings true.

Most women I know deeply long for their labor to count for something significant and eternal. They want the sum of their lives to point to something far more. At the end of days they hope to hear, “Well done, my good faithful servant.” I get this longing.

But friends, may I tell you a few things that I wish someone had told me back then and that I still need to preach to myself often?

1. Blessed is the woman who comes in the name of the LORD.

Whether she walks down her cul-de-sac, into a board room, or into a mud hut, she goes with God to do the good works he has prepared for her since the foundation of time.

The woman who comes and goes in the name of the LORD blesses her people and her place. This means that she makes her corner of earth, wherever that is, look and feel more like heaven for the other inhabitants there.

2. Blessed is the woman who is fully present wherever she is.

Can I tell you what is a wasted life? A restless woman who longs to be anywhere-but-here, doing anything-but-this. Can God easily use a woman who is always anxiously scanning the horizon for something more meaningful to come along? Can blessing flow from someone who doesn’t honor the place and the people that God has prepared for her to tend?

God help me become a woman who doesn’t rush by, or count as disruptions, those in my daily well-worn path. Help me to resist lusting after more significant and interesting scenery. God help me to become a woman who gives thanks for her daily bread, even if it’s not a baguette, or bhakri, or naan.

3. Blessed is the woman who knows nothing is insignificant to God.

Has any day of this life been a waste? Of course not. How do we know? Because the body of Jesus was willingly wasted, broken and bruised, to infuse your life with real meaning.

Is there any work you can do in this life that will make you more favored by God? No, dear ones. Because the blood of Jesus was poured out, wasted on helpless sinners, so that we would not need to ever wonder, “Have I done enough? Are my efforts significant enough for God?”

It is the work of Jesus alone that gives us favor with God. It is his obedient and humble work on the cross that will heal the whole world.

Like blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10), we are the poor, desperate, and needy beggar calling outside the city gates. We have lots of issues. We don’t bring anything remotely significant or lovely to the table.

But like hopeful Bartimaeus, we also can have an audacious trust that Jesus will hear us and stop to help us. He won’t pass by for more important people or things.

Christ will stop if we call him, and he will restore our sight if we ask him. Because nothing done in the faith, hope, or love of Christ is insignificant in God’s kingdom.

Lord have mercy. Lord hear our prayer.

Peace to you and yours today – for your here-and-now life already points to far more.

Kim

 

11 responses to A Wasted Life

  1. Anonymous says:

    Love this Kim! I am with you…in longing for something bigger! Than God said you are just as important when you are changing diapers and reading bedtime stories to your children,and the list goes on of what we do as Moms and Wives. Thanks for this reminder today!!

  2. Given Breath says:

    Oh, the tending and shepherding of those little ones – the LORD himself said there were few things more important! Press on, mama! Your work is eternal.

  3. Angie says:

    Oh, Amen and Amen! Thanks for writing this, for encouraging those women who are in that tough spot wondering about the significance of their life. You’ve spoken truth, my sister in Christ. Love it!

  4. Laura says:

    So needed – LOVE your ministry!!!!😊

  5. margiehack says:

    Thanks for this timely reminder. For many years I was (and sometimes still am) hoping to do something sensational for God. Being mediocre was not for me. I have learned, as you have exhorted us, to be content and present right where I am. To be faithful in the ordinary and the everyday. I love how friend Zack Eswine puts it: God calls us to do small things in small ways over a long period of time.

  6. T.J. says:

    Thank You for another view point of Christian Life! For 10 years I have been a retired, “empty nester.” Every day I wonder if volunteering 2-3 days a week, supporting my husband at home, and daily prayer is enough. Am I failing to live up to God’s expectations for me? What more can I do? Am I a failure to be cast out–at the end of my life? I will keep praying and listening but with a less “frantic” ear.

  7. Given Breath says:

    Thank you, Margie. You are a winsome voice, example, and witness to me of this ‘long obedience in the right direction’ (was that Eugene Peterson’s phrase?). I always appreciate your thoughtful and honest words – in whatever form I read them!

    PS. “Being mediocre is not for me” should definitely be emblazoned on a NIKE tee shirt. It would absolutely make a million.

  8. Given Breath says:

    TJ. I love your note – thank you so much. You are an honest soul. I don’t think we grow out of wanting to please the LORD. We know he is worthy of our devotion! But God gives us a new day – new breath – to grow to know him as he wants to be known! He is not your taskmaster. He is your Shepherd, and your very best guide. Peace to you and yours.

  9. reedsunnyc says:

    This is beautiful, I needed to be reminded about making our place look more like heaven. Corey Branam told me to check out your site, I’m so glad I did!

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