One of the most frequently asked questions I get from the seniors I visit is “Why am I still here?”
Why do you think God has left you here on earth instead of immediately taking you to heaven the moment you were saved? Think of all the hardships and heartaches you’d have escaped. Imagine the joys you’d be experiencing with Christ in heaven. But then again, who would be here to tell others the gospel of salvation if all the believers were taken out of this world?
If you are living and breathing, then the heavenly Father has a purpose for you, a ministry to fulfill. Don’t think of ministry as something done only in a church building by a select group of people. Service to God is the responsibility of every believer. It’s a matter of doing the “good works, which God prepared beforehand” for each of us to accomplish (Eph. 2:10).
Although the way we serve may change over time, we are never called to retire and do nothing. Even a bed-bound saint can pray for others or offer encouraging words to visitors and caregivers. A believer’s goal should not simply be to attend church, listen to a sermon, and receive enough spiritual food to get through the coming week. The goal is to serve God with our whole being, reflecting the love of Jesus through who we are. Our worship of God and instruction from His Word is what edifies and equips us to serve one another and go into the world to share the gospel.
Your entire life is meant to be an act of service to God. If instead you are living for your own happiness and goals, you will eventually be disappointed. But when you walk in the good works God has prepared for you, you’ll have the satisfaction of doing exactly what you were created to do.
Our purpose in life is the very meaning of our existence and without knowing this we often suffer ignorant of our own significance. We fall prey to the illusion that our lives don’t matter and we have no connection or impact on the world around us. The Bible offers many insights into man’s purpose on Earth and living within a meaningful mission. Rest assured that God has a plan for you that was established at the beginning of time when your spirit and soul were created and equipped with certain spiritual gifts to enable you to carry out that plan.
10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, though Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
What may not be obvious to you may be very obvious to others. Let me give you an example.
There was a sweet lady who I visited weekly at an assisted living facility here in Burlington and who lived to be 105 years old before going to heaven a few years back. She did not need any medicine, could eat anything she wanted, had never been to the hospital except to have babies, and just went to sleep peacefully and contently one night and woke up in heaven. No sickness, no injury, no reason other than Jesus just thought it was time for her to come home. On the day she went to heaven she followed her same routine which she did seven days a week. She woke up wide awake and refreshed, ate a good hearty breakfast, ate a good wholesome meal at lunch, and then spent the afternoon on the porch where she held court. Friends would come from all over the facility to visit along with several who drove up to the porch, got out to visit a few minutes, and then drove off. To each one, this sweet lady always had a pretty smile, sweet spirit, warm hug, and something encouraging to say. All topped of by reminding that she loved them and prayed for them.
She often asked me just why she was still alive after so many years and just what purpose her life served. What was so obvious to me just hadn’t occurred to her. She was a drive thru source of love, caring, and encouragement!!! People could always count on getting a non-judgemental free dose of her loving heart and sweet spirit when they might not have had anywhere else to turn. God had put her here and kept her here because this old world needed the light that she so freely shone into the hearts of a whole world of hurting and lonely souls.
Could it be that you are still here because your light continues to shine for those living in the darkness of a hard and troubled world?