I often talk with people who are seeking to discover God’s plan for their lives. This is especially true for college students and young adults. They face so many big decisions regarding education, career, relationships and marriage that it’s natural for them to try to figure out God’s blueprint for their lives.
It’s hard to make big decisions. It would be much simpler if God would directly tell us what to do, who to marry and where to live, and when we don’t receive a direct revelation it can leave us anxious and afraid to act. Big decisions have consequences, and nobody wants to ruin their lives by choosing the wrong career or marrying the wrong person.
How do we know what God’s plan is in the big decisions we must make?
This question isn’t just relevant for young adults. It applies to all of us during this time of great uncertainty. It’s hard to know what to do in response to the pandemic, political divisions and economic turmoil. Many of us are fearful and unable to make sense of these times.
What is God doing? What does He want us to do? How can we know God’s will while the whole world seems to be turned upside down?
I certainly do not have all of the answers to the big questions we are facing, but let me remind you of a truth that will provide a foundation for you during these hard times. The truth is that this life is not all about us; it is about God. We tend to think that we are the hero in our story and that God is there to offer us guidance on our quest. We falsely believe that we are the protagonists and that God is part of our supporting cast.
The opposite is true. God is the central character in history, and we are secondary characters in His story. We are created for His glory (Isaiah 43:7). He does not exist for our sake; we exist for His sake. This life is not all about us.
On first reading, this truth might not sound too encouraging. Does this mean that our lives are not very valuable? No! Your life has infinite worth because you are created in the image of God, and God desires to have a relationship with you. You are precious and your life matters.
Does this mean that our lives aren’t very important? Actually ... yes. Well, maybe it is better to say that our lives aren’t quite as important as we tend to think they are.
The world does not revolve around me. I have little power to solve pandemics or fix economies. My worth is not based on becoming famous or successful. My purpose is not established by making all of the right decisions. My worth and purpose are found in God. My life is small, but God is big.
We can find comfort and peace knowing that the world’s problems do not rest on our shoulders. We are not called to fix the world. We are just called to be faithful during the time we are given and to trust that God knows what He is doing.
Tristan Borland is pastor at Riverview Church in Pine River.