Ever Wonder Why You Are Here?
A few years ago my family and I vacationed on the coast of Maine. One day we walked along the Marginal Way, a famous one mile walking path that meanders along a beautiful and rocky shoreline near Kennebunkport.
Near the ocean’s edge a man was kneeling over a small, spindly flower that was growing alone between the rocks. The Atlantic Ocean was splashing at its back. The man had a big lens camera, and was focusing on a close-up shot of the solitary, lonely beauty of this defiant and courageous wildflower.
The moment was classic.
Here was a unique piece of God’s creation — fragile at best — defying all odds and waving her beauty as if to say, “Here I am, exactly where God put me, growing as best I can and holding on against these elements. And if today is all I have, then today I’ll blossom and bloom and wave. God made me just as I am, to be here, at this time, in this place, and I am committed to fulfill His purpose for me.”
I loved that flower. You could look at her — or not look at her. She would grow, blossom, and wave anyway. What wonderful self-confidence.
The more I watched, the more I felt a subtle, personal identity with those moments — born by the Holy Spirit’s prompting. God’s business with me is like that.
He puts me where He will. My business, as a unique piece of His creation, fragile at best, is to defy all odds, to wave His beauty, and to say to whatever environment or situation I’m in: “Here I am, exactly where God put me, growing as best I can … holding on. … And if today is all I have, then today I’ll blossom and bloom and wave. … I am committed to fulfill His purpose in me.”
My natural instincts want a safe, comfortable place — and honestly, I pray for that more often than I pray for a hard place.
But the eternal side of what God is creating in me, and urging in me, says that if I can find just the slightest crack in the rock through which to grow, and the slightest chance to form a blossom, to produce a unique creation that God intends for me alone, and I’ll then — standing alone or with company — declare the glory of God as He shines through me.
I think, quite likely, that’s at the root of why God put you and me here in the first place.
My friend, Roger Heuser, once sent a letter to me, that concluded with the following prayer by John Wesley:
“Lord, Jesus, if You will receive me into Your house, if You will but own me as Your servant, I will not stand upon terms; impose upon me what conditions You please, write down Your own articles, command me what You will, put me to anything You see as good; let me come under Your roof, let me be Your servant … make me what you will, Lord, and set me where You will … I put myself wholly into Your hands: put me to what You will, rank me with whom You will; put me to doing, put me to suffering, let me be employed for You, or laid aside for You, exalted for You, or trodden under foot for You; let me be full, let me be empty, let me have all things, let me have nothing, I freely and heartily resign all to your pleasure and disposal.”
“As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul – not the grim strength of gritting your teeth, but the glory-strength God gives you. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that He has for us” (Colossians 1:10-12, The Message).
T. Ray Rachels, Southern California District superintendent, Irvine, California