When we face difficult moments, it may be easy to question God's purpose for our lives. Yet is there ever a time when God's purpose for our lives is not occurring? The short answer to that question is no. Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." In the verse before verse ten God tells us that we are saved by grace and faith alone and not because of anything we do. Once we are His child, however, He definitely has a purpose and plan for our lives even during the difficult and trying times.
When I look back on my life I can see that clearly, especially during certain periods in my life. I may not have seen it at the time, but I see it more clearly now. God had a purpose and plan for me as to when I was born and where I was born. He had a purpose in the schools I attended, and the parents I had. (Check out Acts 17:26 in the New Testament of the Bible.)
God also had a purpose in my coming to the town in which I now live to teach first grade in 1969 and to marry my first husband, Wayne, in 1971. He had a purpose in us raising three sons and then welcoming grandchildren. He also had a purpose in me being my first husband's caregiver for over four and a half years. Those were very difficult years, but it was God's purpose for me during those years. In fact, as difficult as those years proved to be, I remember having a sense of loss of purpose after Wayne died. Never doubt the value of what you do for your loved ones, dear caregiver!
Then came the eight plus years of widowhood in my life. These years although sometimes difficult too had purpose and value. They along with my care-giving years drew me closer into a sweet relationship with my Lord and helped me grow in so many ways. These years were also used by the Lord to tell God's story through my book and to my amazement a couple interviews. God used my previous care-giving experience further at the Gathering Place where I still volunteer. One experience builds upon another, and nothing is wasted in our lives. There always is a purpose. There always is a purpose even in the difficult times. So if you find yourself a widow especially after years of being a caregiver, know that your life still has vital purpose in God's economy.
Now I am remarried to Bob. This is not something I had anticipated earlier in my life. It is a relatively new phase in my life. As in any phase of life there are joys and blessings. There are also challenges. Life is never perfect. Yet in this phase of my life I also believe God is using me in ways for which I did not plan ahead of time. He has given me a purpose and placed situations in my life that I did not anticipate, so that I can be used of Him and learn to trust and rely on Him more and more.
Acts 17:27b-28 says, "He is not far from each one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our being.---" As children of God there is always purpose in our lives. That purpose is to glorify the Lord God where He has presently placed us in life. That purpose is to trust Him and glorify Him in the pleasant and difficult moments. How that fleshes out depends on our particular situations and circumstances at the time, but the purpose remains the same. Let's rest in God's will and purpose for us.