We had a lesson this week that helped open my eyes more clearly to the purpose of this life or more exactly what isn’t the purpose of this life.
I am admittedly a romantic. I’ve always held onto this desire for a certain kind of lifestyle. For some it might be living in an urban setting or fulfilling a certain dream of their own but for me, it’s always been the tranquil country life with rolling green hills, farm animals and the old country house with the fireplace and the warm quilts, cozy kitchen and the soft loving cat. Well, while there is nothing wrong with my desires they have nothing to do with God’s plan for my life. As a military wife it’s my job to be ready to move when-ever or where-ever the Air Force sends us. This means not getting settled in one place, this means, that particular dream is not a part of God’s plan for my life at this time.
In class, when Pastor was teaching about our lives being patterned after The Lord Jesus Christ’s on earth, and the fact that He always knew and welcomed that the Father’s plan was the Cross and never tried to live in any other plan during his life on earth, something clicked! The Lord knew that a crown(as king of all the nations in the future) was His destiny but in order to receive the crown, He had to fulfill the Cross(The Father’s particular plan for His humanity). I have also been promised a crown and a destiny that is wrapped up in His and I have also been given now and in the future, my own set of circumstances which constitute the fulfilling of a “cross”(participation in the Angelic Conflict) in my lifetime. My life on earth was never supposed to be associated with earthly “crowns” and pursuing all that I consider the epitome of human existence. My life as belonging to the Lord is supposed to be wrapped up in pursuing God’s plan for my life. This life on earth is all about being the “time of the cross” not the time of the “crown”. To the natural mind this may sound like some form of self imposed suffering but really what I’m talking about is quite the opposite. I’m not talking about living the plain life and giving up all my earthly desires to live on some mental mountain top. I’m talking about really and truly understanding that the treasures promised to me that come after the time of the cross which belongs to life on earth, are very real and go way beyond the dreams this life has to offer. If I want a destiny better than the one I can dream up, one that contains actual happiness and reward, I have to understand that the Cross comes before the Crown, just as it did for The Lord Jesus. The “crown” is a promise and part of it is the fantastic life that goes along with living in God’s plan right now.
The Bible says that God’s plan ultimately brings unshakable happiness, contentment and an incredibly meaningful life here on earth and that there is nothing in the strictly human experience that brings lasting happiness. I believe that there are things that bring temporary happiness but it always fades and we find ourselves restless or disappointed that the thing we have worked so long to get or achieve was empty in the end. In fact, nothing on this planet was designed to satisfy our ultimate desire. Truly unshakable happiness is God’s monopoly and it can only be found in Him. Everything else is a vain pursuit for lasting contentment and happiness. Sure, you might be happy when things are going well but be honest, human powered happiness fails when disaster falls or things don’t go our way.
It’s hard to put into words what I’m trying to describe. My life is about much more than my dreams. There is a life beyond dreams. I have experienced it in part but I have not arrived. If my dreams fall into the Plan of God He gives them to me. If He knows that they will make me miserable and something else will be best for me He does that instead. His plan is perfect but baffling to someone on the outside. How can death bring life? How does disaster bring prosperity? In God’s plan everything is opposite. It really truly is. Suffering and happiness are inseparable on earth. Without the Cross Jesus Christ’s crown would have ended when He died and all that we could hope for would be bottled up in life on this planet. Because He endured the Cross and did it the Father’s way, He gets a crown that lasts forever and we get eternity. The world tells us to hold onto our dreams and reach for them relentlessly The Lord was also offered the world and all it’s kingdoms by Satan as a temptation to abandon the plan of the Cross. The insidious thing about the world is that the system knows what it offers has no lasting value, it’s empty and will leave you wanting more. God offers you His plan which guarantees contentment and satisfaction but it also includes a measure of the “cross” individually tailored with suffering that brings blessing and it doesn’t make sense if you don’t understand what it’s all about. The perfect loving God with a plan to give you all that He is.
What I’m getting at is, that I don’t want to miss out on fulfilling the purpose of my life in exchange for green pastures and chickens. I can now see why those things, pleasant as they are in my mind, don’t compare to my life as it is now(I already have an amazing and challenging life) and what I have the opportunity to live in. It would be wise to put those fantasies in God’s hands and let them go. He loves me and always gives me His highest and best, be that outward blessing or suffering what ever I need to have capacity.