When I turned 30 years old, I began to panic. I started thinking of my life and thought that I had already failed at it because I had not achieved all that I had planned to achieve by that age. I cried, threw myself on the couch, and told my husband that I felt like a complete failure. He laughed at me, and teased me back into reality.
Our dreams are not God’s plans. Ten or fifteen years ago, I never dreamed that I would have gone through some of the things that I have endured. I never could have dreamed that I would have three children with dwarfism or that I would get to come in contact with so many interesting and inspiring people. I never knew that I would be striving to raise disability awareness. I never knew that I would be blogging, homeschooling, writing, or working on a degree from home.
Our dreams and our purpose are two different things. Dreams come from our heart and the Bible calls our heart a very foolish and wicked thing. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9. We are not to trust our heart. Sometimes we can hold on to unrealistic dreams and ideals, and we fail to find God’s true purpose for our lives or we become dissatisfied with it. This causes us to always feel as though we are empty or failing.
The truth is, we are all incomplete. We need Jesus, and we need other people. The Bible describes us as parts of the body. Whether you are an eye, foot, nose, or head, you have a very important role. We should not discourage ourselves by pining over what we could have been or what we wanted to be. We should rather recognize what we are, embrace it, and sharpen our own talents.
God does not measure our worth the way that we measure our worth. We think because others have more visible success than we do that we are failing. However, God makes it clear that he gives us different talents and abilities. He blesses our faithfulness. He looks at how we did our part: what we did with what we were given. Please consider the parable of the talents in Mathew 25:14-30 (you can read this at the end of this article). This parable was specifically spoken to the people of Israel, but there are applications we can draw from it as Christians today. God was pleased with the servant who used his two talents (money) and gained two, just as he was with the man who had gained five. God’s math and our math are different.
Again, ponder the story and the man who only had one talent. I can relate to this man. I look around and see people who seem to have so much more to give to God in the ministry, and I get discouraged. This man was too scared to step out. He feared he would fail, and never accomplished anything. God wants to know that you filled your purpose, even if it you are meant to only gain one soul for Him. God always has and always will look at our faithfulness. He wants to see us do our best and not quit.
There are so many people we read about in the Bible who had one job, but that one job they did was noteworthy enough that we read about it still thousands of years later. I think of Rahab the harlot and how her one huge contribution was hiding the Israelite spies. As a result, Paul writes of her faithfulness in the New Testament.
God uses the sacrifice and faithfulness of imperfect people. Do not let your past or the past of others hinder the ministry. We are all sinners saved by grace and God can do a great work in any of us if we let Him.
Discouragement, fear, or regret can keep you from finding your purpose and doing it. Do not give up because you do not see the success you think you should be seeing, because you are scared to take a leap of faith, or you think that your past has made you unusable. No matter what state you of life you are in, no matter what abilities you have, there is something you can give to God. Find YOUR purpose and do it to the best of YOUR ability.
A life’s worth of labor is worth it all even if we lead just one one soul to the Lord. Do not try to measure whether or not your calling is worth the work or sacrifice. Let God do the math in your life.
“…Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…” Hebrews 12:1,2.
14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.