I really want my life to matter. In fact, I so want a life filled with meaning and purpose, that I have started to worry that my best efforts may be in vain. But when I identify a fear, I’ve recently started asking myself; "What does this fear say about how I see God?"
This question was painful to ask as I faced my fears of insignificance. There are so many problems with it. The first problem is that God’s plans are bigger than I can imagine. I may not fully see this side of heaven what living my life in obedience to Him, in love for others, and in faith for His promises will do. But while I trudge along thinking, “Am I contributing anything meaningful?” God sees the big picture. He sees all the thoughts and reactions that I don’t. He hears every prayer – even the ones that seem to land nowhere. His plans for my life may include hundreds of trickle effects that I will never become aware of. My imagination for making a difference in the world is too small, not too large.
The second, more significant problem with my fear is, that God is the One who gives my life meaning. I want to share the hope and love that He has given to me so much that sometimes I think it will burst out of me. But He is the giver of my joy and my hope – He is the source. Even without anyone to share it with, my life would have purpose because I was made for Him. If it is filled with unseen moments, when my heart is turned toward Him and no one else sees, there would still be meaning to my breath.
Seeking contentment in God alone causes fulfillment of our purpose. It's in the longing for more of Him that we can find meaning for every moment - even the mundane and insignificant. I feel certain of this: If my desire for Him is greater than my desire for anything else, I will never lack purpose. The truth is, I will never do anything of significance apart from Him. But He will use my longing for Him to reflect pieces of His glory, and someday He might change the world through me.
This is the story I want to speak to myself when I think about changing the world. When I long for significance and impact, I will remind myself to keep my eyes focused on Him. I will remember that it is in my longings, and the quiet moments where I sit at His feet (and no one else even sees) that I will find my greatest fulfillment. This is where God produces the kind of life-changing fruit that can only grow in quiet spaces, spent kneeling alone before Him. It's a message I need to remind myself of frequently. Because I often want to get off my knees and busy myself doing something that "matters," while God gently calls to me that in my good intentioned passion I just left behind what matters most.
A day in His presence is better than 1,000 elsewhere,