Trying to Find Meaning
May 11, 2019
I intentionally wanted to focus on some Scripture during the week of my birthday and came to chapter 9 of Ecclesiastes on my birthday. The focus of that chapter is on life and death. In particular I came to verse six which says:
After people are dead,
they can no longer love or hate or envy.
They will never again share
in what happens here on earth.
I thought about it and I am still thinking about it. Death is final, we can no longer do any good work here on earth one second after we die. I think one reason why I feel so discontent here in this desert is that I do not feel like I am making a difference and it has been super hard to make friends here. At various points in my life whether in any of the past cities where I have lived, I have always been a part of a good community and have invested in some way to help encourage people. I feel in a sense right now that I do not have a life purpose, and then I begin to focus on my physical problems as my leg muscles recently have been getting weaker which all of this then gets me more discouraged.
I was very surprised to hear a pastor preach on John chapter 9 earlier this week. The focus of the sermon was not on the healing itself of the man born blind but on inclusion and diversity. John 9 has been one of my favorite stories of all the Bible because of two major reasons. First, the man was born blind and secondly, the belief at the time was that something spiritual caused the man to be born blind. The text says:
1As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been born blind. 2 His followers asked him, “Teacher, whose sin caused this man to be born blind—his own sin or his parents’ sin?”
3 Jesus answered, “It is not this man’s sin or his parents’ sin that made him blind. This man was born blind so that God’s power could be shown in him. 4 While it is daytime, we must continue doing the work of the One who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
Jesus here is challenging that belief that it is sin that caused the man to be born blind, rather He is saying that God’s power is going to be at work in the man’s life, and in this case he was healed. I often wrestle with the fact if God still heals today but I think the larger application for me is how is God going to work in my life so that I am a blessing to others. What role or purpose do I have in making a difference in this world. I started ou this year with seven goals, some of them already do not look like they will happen, and this can be really discouraging.
Over the two years and six months that I have been in this desert, I have tried to leave many times but I am still here. There is a reason why I am still here, even though it has been really hard. It has been hard to develop meaningful relationships, it has been hard to find a ministry to serve in and to make a difference, and it has felt hard being disconnected from family and friends.
Father in Heaven, thanks for this week. Thanks for letting me see another year, it has been hard to live in this desert and hard to find meaning here. My prayer for myself and for the person reading this is that we would find meaning and purpose and joy where You have placed us. Sometimes I am not that sure why I am in this place. Sometimes I feel disconnected and discontent. Please help me and to help us to find out how to not just make it one day at a time, but to thrive everyday with Your help.