“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23
I have often contemplated how to best use my time to make my life meaningful. How will I know when I get to the end of my life that I did enough? But as I’ve been getting older, I’ve started thinking about it in a different way.
When I was twelve, we visited someone in the hospital. I kept my visitor badge and stuck it in my journal, and I wrote in my journal, someday I want to work in this hospital as a nurse. As I remembered this a few days ago, I thought, that was what, six or seven years ago? No, that was nearly ten years ago! Ten years ago I was thinking about something I wanted to do in my future, and here I am now, ready to start nursing school, and embark on what could easily be a life-changing year.
I know what I’m doing next year, and I believe with all of my heart that not only has God led me here, but that He has done miracles to get me here. I put my whole heart and brain and everything I had into getting into nursing school, but there were a couple times when I felt it was completely impossible. I prayed and told God that if it’s His will for me to do this now that He’s going to have to make it happen because I can put everything I have into this, but it’s not going to be enough.
I’ve always been very focused on doing things, accomplishing things. And that’s not all bad; it’s important to work hard and strive for goals. And I have ideas of what I want to do after nursing school. I have dreams, I have hopes, and wishes and visions and goals… I know that I want to do something important with my life. I don’t want to waste my life! But I’ve come to a place where I see my life in a little bit of a different light than I ever have before. It’s not only about what I do, it’s about who I am. It’s about the people that I interact with every day, it’s about how I influence them, and how they see Jesus in me… It’s about allowing God to work in my life and make me the person He wants me to be, and to use me how He sees best.
Right now I don’t even know exactly what the next several years will look like. I hold my dreams with an open hand before the Lord… But at the end of my life, I know what it will all look like. It’s going to be full of God’s faithfulness, direction and goodness, and if I’m willing to follow God’s path, I don’t need to be afraid of not doing enough, or not measuring up. I will have a life full of beautiful and difficult and messy and God-filled moments. And at the end I will be able to rest in the fact that yes, I did things for God, yes I worked hard and accomplished things, and I did strive to be the best version of myself I could be, but most importantly, God led me on His path for my life. I can have peace, both now and at the end of my life, because it’s not about doing something special with my life, it’s not even about being a good person, but it’s about God’s faithfulness. He will lead me through every valley, every mountain, for His glory.
I want to be able to look back at the end of my life and say, I did many wonderful things with my life. I want to be able to look back on my life and see God’s faithfulness. I want to look back and say yes, there were times when I messed up, when I almost lost my faith, when I lost sight of God’s goodness… but God kept me faithful through all of those things. I fought that fight, I ran that race. And I finished strong.
Maybe you struggle with feeling like you should be doing more, or like you’re never quite measuring up. Maybe you feel like you don’t really know what is enough, so you’re always striving to do more and to be a better person… Working hard is important, but success is not about what we do. It’s about whom we do it for and who walks with us and guides us. Because if He wasn’t walking with us and guiding us every step of the way, then even our greatest accomplishments would be in vain.
“He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32, ESV) Part of those “all things” is God’s faithfulness. Not only in keeping us but in directing us. God will be faithful to us in showing His path. If we truly seek Him with all of our hearts, we will find Him. And we will find Him faithful.
And yes, I want to do amazing things with my life. I want to work hard, and accomplish things for God’s glory. But more importantly, I want to follow the course that is laid out for me. And by doing that, I leave the rest in God’s hands.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8, ESV) And that crown, I am going to lay at Jesus’ feet, because ultimately it’s all because of His faithfulness.
(Photo credit for harp photo to LS photographer ca 2016)