- "What a waste!"
- "You'll never have anything now."
- "But God never calls you to something you can't be comfortable in." (What?!)
- "What difference are you truly making? Don't you know if you were a doctor/lawyer/whatever you'd be making more of a difference...plus, you wouldn't be struggling to get by every month!"
- "What good does it do to constantly be serving and never get anything in return."
- "How do you know God doesn't want you doing that (whatever that is) just because it's not all about 'Jesus' all the time."
Here's the thing. I am not saying that the Lord does not call people to be doctors or lawyers or go to college and become "prosperous". In fact, I highly believe that He does, in fact, call many, many people to college and certain careers. I don't believe He calls every single person into "full time ministry" in the sense of leaving everything and working for a ministry somewhere or going out to the mission field.
However, I do believe that no matter what He calls us to, no matter what we're doing, we are required to lay down our lives, plans, dreams, for what He has planned. That is, if we're fully wanting all that He is willing to give. For we cannot hold anything back if we want abundant life with Him. All of that to say, I get so frustrated with this society, with the world's voice screaming that if we walk away from all the plans we had for ourselves, from the careers, the house, the car, the clothes, then we are "wasting" our lives.
As if leaving behind anything the world holds dear and walking where He has called is a waste of time. Ah, but this is exactly what the world convinces those who have not tasted and seen the face of Jesus. If God has called "me" to be the man or woman in the closet who is to pray, pray, pray, forever unseen, tell me, is this a waste of time? Is fighting the battle unseen a waste of a life? Or am I one of the mightiest weapons wielded in the hands of my God because of it? If I am called to serve someone in order to allow them to fulfill the call God has placed on their lives, never receiving acknowledgement, always in the background watching the Lord further a work because I am willing to be in that place, is it a waste of a life? If I walk away from everything because He has called me to the mission field, if I am willing to give my life for a people and I never know how I touched them, is it a waste of a life? If I go to college, acquire a degree and then use it where I make no money, yet as I use it in this way my joy in Him overflows, is it a waste of a life?
I ask, what is life to be wasted? If I believe in eternity, that Jesus will one day return in all glory, what is a life wasted? Is it living only to please myself? Is it doing exactly what the world has demanded I do in order to have success, pursuing the career He clearly did not call me to, the money He clearly is not giving me, the house He clearly did not provide? Is it gaining all this and more, living in luxury, maybe going to church once a week, saying a prayer before a meal (and of course when I'm in trouble or need help) and doing exactly what I want in general? Then in the end, losing it all as I stand before Him and realize I have done nothing that matters, that all of this was in vain? Tell me, is it a life wasted as I hear Him say, "I never knew you...nor you me."
Oh God, may it never be! For this, this is a life wasted, gaining everything in the entire world, yet losing my soul. Once again, I am brought to something C.S. Lewis said, for he can put something so clearly for which I am floundering to find words for.
"Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance, the only thing it cannot be is moderately important."
Yes, to consider it moderately important, for me, is a tragedy. For, I have seen the miraculous, I have seen God heal my Dad from injuries received from an accident, right before my eyes. I have seen Him do the miraculous in my own life, for being where I am today, doing what I'm doing is a clear testament of that. For me Christianity can not possibly be false and of no importance because of all this. So, though I may be wasting my life to some, I have come to realize and believe with every fiber of my being, that no life is wasted if it is poured out and spent for Jesus. It is my upmost pleasure and joy to be used up for His glory, for He gave everything, oh, I will never understand all that He gave up for me. This is the truth I have come to understand:
"God can't give us peace and happiness apart from Himself because there is no such thing."
Yes, let me be poor, let me possess nothing this world would give me, but let me have Jesus! Let me have Him in full, let me understand the "endless frontier" of living a life with Him, of coming to know more and more and more of Him. And, He has promised that I will never want for anything if I am living a life with. No, I may not be rich, I may wonder where in the world I'm going to get enough money for such and such, ah, but the beautiful thing is that every single time I wonder this, He never fails to come through. And others clearly see and know that it is not I who is aquiring anything for myself, but it is He that gives all in exactly the time I need it! And because of this, He is glorified and I am amazed once again and my faith increased because of His goodness.
The reason for all of this, however, is to encourage you. If you are the one taking the blows the world is aiming at this area of your life, if you are the one the world is screaming at to become "successful" and do what you or others want you to do, if you are the one struggling to know what you should do, then hear this. Follow wherever He is leading. Follow no matter how it looks in the natural, for our God works in the unseen, and your life will never be wasted by taking His hand and walking where He leads. Release all of your dreams and hopes for the future to He who's pleasure it is to give all He can to you! Oh, the joy you will know! The life you will live! For He created you, He knows the desires of your heart because He gave them to you, and He will be faithful to fulfill them far beyond anything you could have ever dreamed. He says:
"'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.'"
"You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever."
Ah, if this is a life wasted, then let mine be wasted all of my days...