Everywhere, all the time.
How did I get here? Why am I here? What is it that I am supposed to be doing? These are all very common, very troubling and very relevant questions...for each of us. Some of the answers are difficult, confusing, or tough to wrap ones mind around, BUT there ARE answers!
How did I get here?
Well, as believers, we all know that we are here, generally, because a long time ago in a galaxy...well...right here, our ancestors were made by God, the creator of the heavens and the earth. Specifically, “why am I HERE?” is a little more difficult. Or, is it? “[...]having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things[...]” (Ephesians 1:11 NASB). God has a plan for you, for me, for Ralph Macchio, for all of us; “[...] to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.” (Isaiah 45:23 NASB).
All things have been put in motion by God, Himself, for the ultimate-end of our salvation. Wherever you happen to find yourself, whatever circumstance you are inundated with; remember that there is a reason for it. Have you struggled with alcoholism? Maybe you need to help someone else struggling with the same thing later-on? Have you ever been the victim of abuse? Maybe the Lord knew you had the strength to endure it and you would be able to shelter and comfort someone going through the same thing, thus, bringing them closer to Christ? I can’t tell you what the reasons are, but we can trust...they are there.
Why am I here?
Some of us get pretty hung-up on this existential tripping-stone. “Why am I here, Lord?!?” Whether you are supposed to be an orthodontist, an astronaut, or an equine enthusiast....I do not know. I DO, however, know that we have been given some pretty specific commands about why we are here. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations[...]” (Matthew 28:19 NASB). “Honor your father and your mother and love your neighbor as yourself,” (Matthew 19:19 NASB). So, we are supposed to get out there and spread the glorious message of Christ, AND do so by loving everyone around us! Now, to me, that feels pretty great. Such freedom, in those commands.
Imagine your parents saying, “I don’t care if you go to college, or even move-out!! Just be kind and loving to those you encounter and tell them how awesome we are!” Well, we should, certainly, be able to do that for the one who died to give us salvation; Jesus! Could He do it without you? Certainly. The point is; God wants you on His side, willingly, fighting for the salvation of those around you!
Where are you, God?
“O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O Lord, You know it all,” (Psalms 139:1-4 NASB).
“Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go[...]” (Genesis 28:15 NASB).
He is with us...everywhere, all the time. Is He pleased with us....everywhere, all the time? Probably not. Does His continual presence with us prevent any potentially problematic periods in our lives? Certainly not! BUT!!! His unwavering forgiveness, love, and presence should be comforting; He will not abandon you, He will not forsake you, and He will not forget you. It isn’t always easy; followers of Christ have never been exempt from hardship. GOODNESS! Christ, HIMSELF was tortured and murdered...the one, and only, shining example of perfection on Earth was subjected to worse things than we can even comprehend; should we be exempt from tough times?
I don’t seek to make light of anyone’s difficulties; we all go through things that seem insurmountable and singular unto ourselves, “I bet so-and-so down the block doesn’t have to deal with this!” What I’m trying to say is; next time you are going through something rough...if you are going through something right now...know that God is with you, and your difficulties will be used for his glory. Also, next time you drop your phone, or you step in gum, or you spill some syrup on your favorite blouse at breakfast; remember what our Lord endured to give you salvation...to give you LIFE! Maybe that syrup stain isn’t so bad?