Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

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Friday, June 2, 2017

Living with Purpose in this World



I know it like the back of my hand. How life takes on a whole new sharpness when any day could be your last.

You savour the sweet pleasures and the bitter sorrows of life when your days may be short. You stay attentive to living, keenly aware that life is a mere puff of air. You lean into life, pressing in to squeeze every drop of meaning out if it. Suddenly you cannot get enough and you are stuffed to the brim all at the same time.

All week the clouds have poured down rain on the fading flowers. Tulips have dropped their petals and the cherry blossoms have blown away.



As quickly as the thunder rolled in, the sun chased the clouds away and we ran to scan the heavens for rainbows. We saw promises hung in bows across the sky and new life forming in the all small green cherries that have burst forth on the tree in the backyard.

How does one take hold of each day that is strung together to span a lifetime that fades like a passing shadow? Here today, gone tomorrow.

How does one measure one’s life?



Surely life is more than the length of days lived or the dash between two dates.

When you don't know if you will grow old with your beloved or watch your children grow up into adulthood every new sunrise becomes precious. I know about this.

I know it’s hard to live every moment to the fullest. But do we open our eyes wide to every new day we are given while eagerly waiting for our future hope?

Try to hold a shadow in your hand. It is futile. But, cling to hope and hope never disappoints.

The way to measure a life is to know that our ultimate purpose is to glorify God. Our days are numbered but our hope is in the Lord.



C. S. Lewis, in his book, Mere Christianity wrote:
“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”
Made for another world. Made to find our rest in God. Made to enjoy God forever.

When dying young is a threat in your day-to-day life, fear can grip you and ensnare you to waste moments and throw away opportunities to really live.



Fear of the known as much as the unknown can keep you from living life to the fullest.

We desire to live abundant lives but our lives are far from full when they are filled with fear.

No one wants to live an empty life. Yet, we let fear tighten its grip on our lives and choke us until we fall silent.

How do we loosen this hold that cages us into living pitiful lives?

When we remember that our days are numbered and our time on earth is brief, that we are simply passing through, life is put into perspective.

But, it is the present hand of the Lord in our lives that releases us from these pointed fingers of fear.

The knowledge that the Lord is near is what allows you to live without worry, fear, and anxiety.

Right before Paul exhorted the Philippians to not be anxious about anything, he reminded them that the Lord is at hand.
“The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” {Philippians 4:5-7}
The way to overcome fear is to be confident that the Lord is near.



Fear subsides when you rest secure in the presence of the Lord.

He is in our midst, a present help, and he is coming to make all things right again.

The promise that He is coming again should make us live every day of our present lives ready for all eternity.

King David knew where his hope came from and it made him ready for his death at any hour. Psalm 39 records his words:
“O LORD, make me know my end
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting I am!
Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths,
and my lifetime is as nothing before you.
Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah
Surely a man goes about as a shadow!
Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;
man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!
“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait?
My hope is in you.”
The promise that the Lord is with us and is coming again empowers us to not be anxious about anything, gives us confidence to come before the throne of grace, and grants us a peace that surpasses all understanding.

C.S. Lewis also wrote these words in Mere Christianity:
“If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next . . . It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.”



Let us ask ourselves: Do we desire to live abundantly while here on this earth? Do we wake every day with the resolve to live effectively in this present world? Have we set our mind on things above and fixed our eyes on things that are eternal?

Know that the Lord is near and you will be freed from fear and filled with the joy and peace of God as your shadow fades and your hope overflows.

4 comments:

  1. You have such good insights Rebekah...glad to see you sharing them here. Those beautiful children are growing by leaps and bounds! I think more about death as I grow older. It surely can be frightful! I find meditating on verses about heaven, and Paul's "it is better to depart and to be with the Lord..., and praying for the Lord to help my mind focus on the eternal,(rather than the temporal) are very helpful disciplines to combat fearful thoughts. But I love how you emphasized to dwell on the "nearness of God". This is a very timely post for me to read as I've been praying for the Lord to take away fearful thoughts about death and to give me a proper "longing for my eternal home". Love & prayers, in Jesus Cynthia

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    1. Cynthia, may we all long more and more for our eternal home, knowing we are sojourning here, until one day we will see our Lord face to face. A glorious day that will be!
      Lovingly, Rebekah

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  2. I read everything you write twice. I love this and the quotes by Lewis too

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Anita, for sharing here. May you be encouraged in our Lord.

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