My sweet aunt passed away several years ago after a long struggle with Alzheimers. I knew when she passed that she wanted me to have her tea cup collection. Though her brain had dimmed those memories, a life filled with adventurous travel was captured in a collection of tea cups from all over the world.
In an attempt to bring some order to our chaos of an attic, I began going through boxes of her things that had been packed away since her death. It was sort of like a bittersweet Christmas, opening and unpacking the boxes one by one. When I got to her tea cups, however, it was like uncovering buried treasure. One by one, I carefully brought each one to the light of day again. Beautiful, ornate, colorful, carved, embellished, painted, gilded tea cups from every corner of the world. I cradled each one as I unpacked them.
All meant for the same purpose, but each so unique and different from all the rest.
I kind of had to chuckle, too, as I thought of my husband's reaction when he first laid eyes on my collection of 50+ coffee cups. I can now say that I come by it honestly...it's in my DNA lol.
Like those cups, we are all created for the same purpose - to be in relationship with God - but how we go forth and be His image bearers is so unique and different from all those around us.
Many times (and I am now in my fifties), I have said that I'm still trying to discover what I want to be when I grow up.
What if what we are meant to be was already pre-ordained, and in different seasons, we are meant to be different things?
For we are his (own) workmanship, created in Christ Jesus (born anew) for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (living the good life which he prearranged and made ready for us to live). (Ephesians 2:10)
The Message version of this verse adds even more depth: He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing. (Ephesians 2:10)
My job, then, as I see it is to work at uncovering my purpose, which God has created in me, in the season that I am blessed with.
Just as I brought each of those tea cups, unique and different, into the light of day, God wants to unwrap each of us to love and serve Him in the unique style in which we were created to do so. Hmmm....
So where does that leave the pitfalls of:
Basically it leaves them in the dust.
God has given us each our own package that only we can unwrap.
God has a special plan for me...it's up to me to discover it.
Life is meant to be a collaborative effort not a competition.
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations." (Jeremiah 1:5)
Being a lover of words, I quickly had to reference the word "consecrate". In this instance it means: to make or declare sacred or holy, to be set apart.
In both the passage in Jeremiah and in the words from Paul to the Ephesians, the principle comes across loud and clear...
Before God formed you in the womb He knew you. He set you apart from all the others. He already has prepared work that only you are meant to do. He has prepared a way for you in which He wants you to walk that is different from the walks of all the others. You are created for good works. He loves you. You have a purpose.
We are all image bearers. We are all born anew and are called to take the Good News to all the Nations. Exactly how, and where, and when, and what that's going to look like is going to vary greatly from image bearer to image bearer.
Our job is to seek Him so that we may discover the plan God has prepared for us. We can know, with joy, that Christ will fuel our steps if we are walking in His will for our lives.
So how exactly do we discover what God has prepared for us?
Seek Him with a sincere and open heart.
Take inventory of yourself and how He has created you.
What makes your heart skip a beat?
Don't worry if what you are called to is "seen" or "unseen", in front of others or behind others...for ALL are important in God's economy.
Don't be surprised if He calls you to something outside your comfort zone!! (If someone would have told me a few years ago that I would be championing a Christian School in Pakistan, I would have told them they don't have both oars in the water).
Pray and wait expectantly.
Enjoy the discovery process.
Know, without a doubt, that God has a perfect plan designed especially for YOU!!
Okay...so what kind of tea cup are you? Go discover it...the world is waiting!!
Dear Lord, I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I thank You that You have created me in Your image and that You think so much of me that You have set me apart and created for me a purpose that only I can fulfill. Help me to seek You, to discern what is, and what is not for me to do. Guide me in the path that You have prepared for me and then give me courage to go forth and be Your image bearer unto the Nations. In Jesus' precious name I pray, Amen.
Ps. Update on Redeemer Christian School: Many more children are seeking refuge inside the walls of the school. Pray for us as we step forward in trust that God will provide as we slowly enroll more students. If you feel so led, will you partner with us? Fact: $120. will provide for an education for one child for one year. That's $10/month. If you can commit to seeing one child escape the streets and receive the hope of a Christian education, would you consider covering a year, or half a year, or even two months? It's amazing how a little can go a long way!!
Send checks/funds to: Bev Rihtarchik (put RCS in the memo line)
103 Silver Lining Lane
Cary, NC 27513
Please continue to pray for the safety of the director, teachers, helpers, and children. Thank you.
Next week I'll be takin' a break to enjoy visiting with company...I invite you to catch up on some posts in the Archives...Happy Summer!