Most people myself included, just want to know what we’re here to really do? What is our life’s mission, the destiny we feel we need to fulfil? What is it, that which will fulfil the burning desire within our hearts? That fulfilment , that knowing you’ve done what you came to do. That feeling of – you came, you saw and you conquered. That you have lived life to its fullest and not wasted or inadvertently missed any opportunities?
Charles Schluz puts it best;
“There is no heavier burden than unfulfilled potential”
The problem of course is; most of us have no idea what our purpose is. And in the event we might have an idea, how to we go about fulfilling it? I always envy people who seem to have sorted out what their purpose is in life and are just living it out. However I don’t think it’s that simple. Somehow I think most of those people simply take each day as it comes, one step at at time. They use well the little that God has entrusted them, walk in faith and stretch themselves to take that next step towards the next door that God opens.
That is despite whether they think they have it in them to overcome that particular challenge before them. It’s like when Peter first stepped out of the boat, it seems as if he didn’t realise that ordinarily he couldn’t walk on water! I suspect he had the realisation, the revelation that he was living in unprecedented times, and he who was calling him onto the water was so much greater than anyone who had ever been. He trusted, and was fully certain albeit for a brief moment that he could walk on water. To think of it, I don’t suppose the logistics of the walk occurred to him. Exactly how his feet were not going to sink into the waves was not a consideration at that point.
How many of us actually look at the water before us and decide to step out of the boat? I’m pretty certain there’s nothing rational about that, but then again, is God rational? He’s been known to do some of the most irrational (to men) things in history. In fact he says in Isaiah, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” He doesn’t always do things the way we expect, need or want him to.
Have you noticed how often great accomplishments in life are preceded by fear and breakthroughs are prefaced by trials. After all that prayer, God finally opens a door and all we can think about is what we lack to walk through the door. Fear grips us so tightly because it’s not rational at all to walk on water. God is edging us on and we are stood by the edge of the boat, gripping it tightly because the water we see in front of us is scary.
Its no surprise that fear is not a 21st century invention. I love Gideon’s hesitation. He was after all the least of the least and by all accounts should not have been given the responsibility of saving Israel, at least that is what he told himself. Isn’t it funny how we try and tell God what we are? God has said we are A and B and we shall accomplish this and that, but we go back to God and say, hmm actually God, I know you’re all knowing and you transcend time, you created the heavens and the earth, nothing is beyond you, but I think on this particular incident you’ve made a mistake. It’s me, remember little old me? How am I supposed to do that?
The odds against Gideon were insurmountable. Like he said he was the youngest in his family, his family was the least in a clan which was the least. Then above all of this he didn’t have enough men. Sometimes I think God has a funny sense of humour. he proceeds to tell him to send all those who were afraid to go home. That was a total of 22 000 and only 10 000 remain and still he had to trim them down to 300! Imagine being Gideon, I would just have walked away, there was no chance of winning the battle now! It seems to me God has always specialised in the impossible from the beginning of time. Now there is also a lot more in this story about quality over quantity. You don’t need many opportunities, you just need the one.
“Where God leads, he will provide.”
For me the issue lies in us thinking we are in control and we are going to do this. If put that way then failure is a distinct possibility. I do not believe in failure when it comes to God, but rather revelation. I love this verse, Hosea 11 vs 4 (NIV);
“I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them.”
It speaks so much of the patience that God has for us, how he will lead us to where we need to be, through his enduring love whilst at the same time providing for our every need. I see a loving father that will not just leave us to wonder in the wilderness, but will bend down to where we are, in the midst of our fear and confusion, comfort us, take us by the hand, lead us and teach us to walk.
So, where ever it is you know/think you’re meant to be going, take that step. The arms of the father are there to guide you through the terrain, and yes, they’re strong enough to catch you!