by Karen Ball
A line from yesterday’s sermon has me thinking today:
“Don’t let the events in your life define your purpose. Instead, let your God-given purpose define you and how you deal with the events that come your way.”
There are a number of events in 2012 that I could share, events that might be considered “defining”. Some wonderful, some…not so much. I’m so thankful to be working with the amazing group of writers I call clients and friends, and delighted that we’ve found publishing homes for many of these talented folks. And I look forward to the New Year with a sense of anticipation of what God has in store for the rest. I’ve had great fun traveling to visit with and mentor writers and to speak at writers’ conferences/retreats. I’ve had the honor of meeting many of you, and it’s been such a blessing.
But as I sit here, looking back on 2012, I can’t help but think of the host of events outside of publishing that impacted us. Events many would consider “defining”:
- Political animus poisoning TV, the Internet, blogs, and conversations between family and friends
- Financial crises striking at the core of our security as individuals and a country
- Disasters, both manmade and natural, taking people’s homes and lives
- Countries steeped in hate pushing each other toward war
- Insanity acted out in bombings and shootings…
And on and on it goes.
With each new report, our hearts are pierced. We wonder what has happened to this world, to our country, to our friends and family. And it all leaves us so…weary. Even hopeless. I have found myself lost in a sense of despair that mankind is hopelessly wicked, and that evil is running rampant as never before…
God is. God lives and breathes. God speaks and acts. And He is there, in every pain-filled event, speaking His truth, whispering his peace to our souls. And if I will but listen, my God-given purpose–which is the same as everyone’s: to reflect Him in a wounded and weary world–grows stronger. Undergirds me. Brings me the peace that passes understanding so that rather than giving in to the sorrow and anger, I can lift my head and say with absolute conviction…
He is peace and hope. He is restoration. He is the beginning and the end. He is…
And while I cannot change the world, or bring mankind back to sanity (or, for that matter, find a publishing home for every writer with talent and a powerful story), He can. All I need to do is follow Him, step-by-step, and leave the results to the Him.
And so, each day, as I hear of new pain or anger or fears, as my clients come to me with concerns or uncertainty, I take it all to Him. And I hold fast to the truth that He is at work in every event, every circumstance. And while I may not understand it all, I can rest in His promises and goodness. For me. For my clients and authors. For my family and friends. For the world. Because of Him, I can be at peace, no matter what happens in my career or in the world.
It is God, friends, and only God, who defines us best. As people. As writers. As those seeking to serve Him with our talents and skills.
May we spend 2013 going ever deeper into Him.