Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I Am Born For A Reason

Several weeks ago, a fellow pastor's wife began a series of e-mails about who we are in Jesus - the "I ams" of scripture. While I have seen similar lists over the years, this list once again challenged me to begin a series of e-mails and blogs of my own to encourage my Christian friends. Understanding who I am in Jesus has lifted my heart so much, I decided to share them here as well.

Day one:
I am created for a purpose Psalm 139:16 (The Message)

13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother's womb.
I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I'd even lived one day.

In Bible college many years ago, our class song was written by a gifted music ministry student.The chorus to our class song has always stuck with me:

I was born for a reason
Not just by chance
God has a purpose
For letting my breath last
If I seek Him I will find HIm
He will see me through
For with the help of God
There is nothing I can't do.

It had been an eventful year for me. I went off to Bible college convinced I would one day go to the jungles of South America and translate the Bible into the native tongue of some remote Amazon tribe.

But somewhere along the way, I began to believe that I wasn't good enough, my motives weren't pure enough so God couldn't use me as a missionary. I abandoned my teenage dreams in a pool of crocodile tears.

Thankfully God didn't abandon me! He continued to work with me, bringing experiences across my path to help me discover the writing ministry He had in store for me. That year, the class leaders came to me and asked me to write the dedication pages of our college yearbook. I was to write about Sister Mary Campbell, an intrigal part of Zion's history and a shaper of many young college students.

What an honor! And I felt so insignificant and unworthy of it.

I argued with God saying, "I'm not a writer!" And it was true. At that time, I had never written anything for publication. I had never even dreamed about being a writer. But because I couldn't say no to anyone, I told my classmates, "Sure I'll try."

I sat and stared at the blank piece of paper. I struggled to put something down - anything - all the while fearing it would be horrible and ruin the whole yearbook. I wrote sentence after sentence, scratching them out and crumbling the paper into trash can missles. As the deadline approached, I finally was able to draft 4 simple sentences that described Sister Mary Campbell. I turned in my feeble attempts, feeling like it was a big flop.

But when I saw the finished page with the words embellishing her photo, I knew the words were just what they needed to be. They fit Sister Campbell, her life and her ministry:

To be born for a reason is to live a life of dedication.

To be born for a reason is to live a life of self-sacrifice.

To be born for a reason is to live a life of quiet waiting before the Lord.

To be born for a reason is to live a life of faith.

As the years passed, God began showing me He wanted me to write. I fussed again, believing I was inadequate and untrained for such a profession. I even quit a writing training course after only 5 lessons because I was too intimidated about the process of writing, revision and submission.

God took me back to that yearbook page and reminded me of the struggle to get those words down on paper. "That's what a writer does," He said softly. "She works to find just the right words to bless, inspire and move the hearts of her readers. You already have the heart of a writer and I will teach you what you lack."

And He has!

Each one of us has a purpose in God's plan. He orchestrates every event of our lives to educate us, to develop the necessary skills and bring us to the place where we can fulfill that plan.

What is God's purpose for your life today? If you don't have any idea, begin by praying for the Lord to reveal His purpose to you. Then sit down and look over the past events of your life.

What lessons have you learned? What people have inspired or encouraged you? What obstacles have you overcome? All of those things are signposts to guide you toward the fulfillment of His purpose.

Share your heart with someone today!

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