Hope. Peace. Joy. Love. Advent begs us to slow down, to hold each one carefully and consider its part in our faith. Sit in the discomfort, wait for something to be revealed before the season’s big celebration. Wait, anticipate, you’re looking for purpose but waiting on God. Even now, he asks you to do his will, but you can’t find your place. Sometimes it feels like you’re falling behind, but are you?
What is the purpose?
Practicing Advent for 4 weeks sounds like a good commitment to your faith, but in reality, you’ve been trying to find answers for much longer. What do hope, peace, joy, love, and light look like amid overscheduled calendars, unsettled emotions, and guilt about not understanding the right answers on your own?
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
Ready or not, people are watching—how you live, how you react, are you humble, do you apologize, what happens when you mess up.
More than some grandiose calling that shatters your world, asks you to sell everything, and move to a remote village, living faithfully on your journey is the purpose. In whatever circumstances you find yourself, reflect God’s goodness. In almost 40 years, I have yet to see anyone whose life was a clear, straight path. Instead, those I admire most share God’s goodness in the middle of life—whether they are celebrating, grieving, repenting, or waiting. Somehow, they don’t lose their focus.
God invites you to share your messy faith in the middle of real life. Your purpose is to do the best with the gifts God’s given you right where he is calling you at this moment.
Doing your best sounds great, but sometimes you still feel lost. Often, you don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing, where you’re supposed to be, or when the timing will be right. I’m not sure what’s worse—not knowing or knowing but having to wait.
“And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:4
Maybe waiting is more important than you think. My impulsive, overconfident self would love to believe I am prepared for anything and ready for whatever may lie ahead. Realistically, the time spent waiting allows us to grow in ways we don’t know is necessary. Imagine all the times you’ve wanted to forge ahead, but thankfully God asked you to wait until he was ready.
How are we perfect if God has to hold us back? It’s not that kind of perfect—in the sense, you will do no wrong or know everything. Instead, you’ll be perfect and complete to face what lies ahead at the moment with the help of God. You will lack nothing because God will be with you to fill in where you lack.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” James 1:2-3
Interestingly, we are perfect and lacking nothing in the midst of trials, quite different from the kind of perfection we strive for. Perfection in your faith looks like relying on God.
Looking for purpose but waiting on God
If you find yourself looking for purpose but waiting on God, don’t be disappointed. It may not be your time yet. Possibly, you’re not ready. Or, maybe you’re doing the right thing already.
Fully Present in the life we have. Wholly expecting a wondrous future.
Enjoy the full Present series
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