Thursday, 14 December 2017

M Michele's Musings

Is There Purpose?

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active
 

IsTherePurpose

There is an old inspirational story penned by an anonymous hand that has been told many a time. It is called “The Three Trees.” Each tree had a different idea as to what it wanted to grow up and become. The first tree had the desire to be covered with gold and filled with precious stones.   The second tree wanted to be a strong ship, traveling mighty waters and carrying powerful kings. The third tree wanted to grow tall so that when people stopped to look at the tree they would raise their eyes to heaven and think of God. After many years had passed each of the trees, now mature, were cut down one by one. Each tree thinking and hoping that they would become what they desired. The first tree was fashioned into a feed trough for animals.   The second tree was made into a simple fishing boat.   The third tree was cut into two strong beams but was left forgotten in a woodpile. Each tree now thought that their dreams would never be realized.  

Like these trees, I think we all have great expectations as to what we will become; what our purpose is in life. Some of us realize our dreams and goals. We become just what we envisioned; we find our purpose. Some of us, like the three trees, feel as if life has dashed our dreams, hopes and expectations.

Before I really knew the Lord and came into a personal relationship with Him, I often felt most like the third tree; cut down, forgotten and alone. I was plagued with thoughts of inadequacy. I wondered if there was a purpose for my life. The sad thing was that I had a pretty good life. I was brought up attending church. I knew that God loved me and that Jesus died for me. I had wonderful parents that loved me. I never went without. I had loving family and friends all around me yet there was still something missing in my life. For some strange and unknown reason the thoughts seemed to mostly sneak in when I was stuck waiting in a grocery line. I always seemed to pick the line I thought would get me through the quickest but to my dismay it never turned out that way.   Therefore, there was a lot of contemplation time. I would stand there looking around at the activity around me thinking, Why are we here? Is this all there is to life; standing in lines, eating, sleeping, working and getting back up to do it all over the next day? We are like ants, just scurrying around and then eventually dying.   Considering that I was a wife, mother of two of the most beautiful children in the world, daughter, sister, niece, employee and friend these were ludicrous thoughts running through my head, yet they frequently did. I can’t explain why I felt that way, I just did. In retrospect, I remember I felt miserable, empty and lost though outwardly not a soul could tell.  Why?  I certainly should not have been feeling this way because of the many blessings in my life.  Obviously, there was something missing spiritually. 

As a child I remember praying all the time but as I got older and left home I rarely prayed except when I wanted or needed something. Church attendance pretty much went out the door except for faithfully attending Christmas and Easter services. I was not committed to any kind of relationship with God. But then a lot of things, not so great things, began to happen in my life and as a young adult, I really began to pray again and put my trust in Him. I began to seek a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ in earnest.   I remember praying, “Lord, don’t let anything good happen to me because when my life is going good I don’t pray and I want to pray to You all the time.” I think it was my way of saying, “Lord, I need a relationship with You and I am willing to go through the bad just to have that relationship.” I have come a long way since that prayer. Now I pray in the good times and bad. He is my closest friend and I talk with Him every day, all day. However, the thing I remember most about this turn in my life is that I finally felt I had a purpose. I remember thinking, I don’t know what my purpose is but I have a purpose! It was like a big hole had been filled in my life and the peace that came from just knowing that God had a purpose for my life flooded the very depths of my heart and being. No longer did I find those old thoughts assailing me as I stood in a line at the grocery store.    

I always had a purpose but I couldn’t see it before He opened my eyes. The very fact that I was a wife and a mother showed I had purpose. Duh! Why couldn’t I see this before? I could make a difference if I trusted and obeyed the Lord in the areas of my life God had placed me. What was I going to do with the gifts He had entrusted me with? The Bible had instructions for me as a wife and mother.  Just a few examples from the Bible are Ephesians 5:22, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” And Proverbs 22:6 gave instruction to, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Further, Colossians 3:23-24 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with your whole being, for the Lord and not for men, because you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as your reward.”   Am I always perfect? No. Do I still know all the purpose that God has for me? No. But, I can make a difference if I obey the Lord in every area of my life to the best of my ability. Whatever station we find ourselves in life is where our purpose is to be fulfilled. We have a wonderful promise in Philippians 2:13, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” As we allow Him in our lives, He does the work within us to help us fulfill our purpose for His glory.  

In the story of the three trees, each tree ended up realizing their dreams, just not in the way they thought it would play out.   Rather than the world’s standard of purpose their desires were ultimately fulfilled with eternal value. The first tree originally fashioned into a feed trough (manger) eventually became the perfect cradle to hold the baby Jesus one amazing star filled night. The tree realized that it was given the great honor of holding the greatest treasure in the world, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The second tree, made into a simple fishing boat, one day found itself in the water carrying a group of men when a storm arose. Knowing it did not have the strength to carry so many passengers safely through the wind and the rain the tree thought all was lost. But one of the men, who had been sleeping in the stern of the boat awoke, stood up, rebuked the wind, and commanded, “Silence!” “Be still!” The storm stopped as quickly as it had begun. Everyone was safe. The second tree knew that the King of heaven and earth was standing within its simple construction.

The third tree, cut into two beams, was yanked from a forgotten wood pile and carried through an angry crowd. The tree was fashioned into a cross and soldiers nailed a man’s hands and feet to the beams. The tree felt ugly, harsh and cruel.   But the morning after the man was taken off the tree, the sun rose and the earth trembled with joy; the third tree knew then that God's love had changed everything through the death of Jesus Christ. And every time people thought of the third tree, they would think of God and what He did to redeem mankind.

Like each of these trees, we all have a purpose. It is usually found wherever our station in life may be; being the best father/mother, son/daughter, wife/husband, sister/brother, employee and friend we can be. We may not know the full spectrum of our purpose because it will grow as we grow; we submit ourselves to God, follow Him, obey His word and love Him we will find that He will open doors for us to fulfill the purpose He has for our lives in every area.  Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Romans 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” And like the third tree whose dream and eventual legacy was to point the way to God, that should be ours as well, Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Like the first tree, you are created to hold the greatest treasure of all time, Jesus Christ. Like the second tree, you are designed to carry the King of Glory so that He can work miracles through you. And like the third tree, you are fashioned to be a light and point the way to God.   Don’t stand in a grocery line wondering any longer; you are special, one of a kind, beautiful, chosen by Him with a purpose that only you can fulfill. You are plan “A” to your circle of influence.   Trust Him to bring you to the place you need to be to accomplish your purpose in life for His glory!

         Love in Christ, Michele

Columnist: Michele's Musings

Picture Michele Abshire is a housewife, mother, grandmother, and full time legal assistant. She has been published in Lake Charles, Louisiana publications, Christian Star Newspaper and Gumbeaux Magazine.  

Michele began writing notes of encouragement to people God put on her heart which led her in the direction of writing short encouraging stories, letters, essays and analogies.  This quickly became a ministry for her.  

Michele's vision is to reach people with encouraging messages that will lift their heart and bring joy for sorrow and hope for discouragement. Michele enjoys your feedback so leave a comment in the form at the bottom of the page or email her at  

Fueling Wholesome Entertainment

TWJ Magazine is the premier publication for lovers of the written word.