Pastor Dick Nichols
Cedar Creek Community Church
2969 14 Mile Road, Sparta
Over the years, I have found myself many times contemplating life. Not the navel-gazing type of contemplation, but seriously wondering, where is my life headed? What have I done or haven’t done? Only to come up with a negative value. This process of self-evaluation is common to the human species. I have discovered there are a couple of questions that many people who take the time to reflect on their lives get stumped on—including me.
“What difference does my life make?”
“Does anybody really know or care about me?”
Personal inventories can have different results on different days, with different circumstances past or pending, different moods and a wide range of other factors. One of the triggers for me is that I’m not getting any younger, and considering my life, the good and bad, what have I really done for the Lord in those decades? Recently, I was in one of these processes (ruts), when God brought a scripture to my memory that really shifted my wondering into a positive light.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalm 139:14 NIV).
In the Old Testament, we find King David meditating on the fact that it is God who made him. In truth, each of us was created, by God, for a purpose. That is difficult for many to believe, especially as we look at the world around us and consider the prospects for our future.
There is an often-used phrase in many of our conversations today, “It is what it is.” We may look at this from a personal standpoint and conclude that “We are what we are,” and that’s that! But the Psalmist’s words in Psalm 139:14 implies that yes, we are what we are, but that isn’t all that we are. I want to make clear that King David was not just saying these words fearfully. It does not mean we are made to be frightened or scared of the Lord. What is being said is that David, is being made (created) by God, and holds God in awe, respect and reverence.
None of us had a say in how we were made but we can have a say in what we become. We live in a world where many examples of a “successful life” would not be what God’s plan is for you. Some rock stars, athletic stars, entertainment stars or other icons may appear to be what we want to be, but in the end, we are better advised to choose what God wants us to be.
In any industry we find people who are the stars, at the top of their peers. While unseen, they were created by God and given their gifts or talents by him. And working under these people are the folks who actually make them what or who they are. Fame is fleeting.
When I look back, many of my years working towards the goals I set weren’t spent very wisely. Position, honor, admiration, reputation, security, etc. are certainly worthy human endeavors, but through the first half of my life, I didn’t consider what God’s plans were for me. To say it more clearly, “I didn’t include God in my plans.” There were many times that I looked at where I was at and circumstances that existed where I was at, and felt stomped on, aimless, and all too often worthless.
I have achieved each of those goals in some shape and form, but not one of them lasted. Even what I thought was security turned out to be more of a soap bubble that lasts just a short while. This scripture verse quoted above is personal to me, as it was one of the first that I really considered when I first began my life with Jesus. I discovered that I was made with a purpose in mind. Not what I had planned, but that God had a plan for me.
Every life is a gift of God, even when we don’t feel like it is. We have free moral agency to choose our path in life, and to choose whose counsel we will follow. We must remember that the god we choose to follow in this life will be the god we will serve throughout eternity. Scripture says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’ (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV).
Choose your God wisely!