Have you ever stopped to consider that you may never achieve the one thing that you’re working towards? Or that maybe you’ll be stuck trying long after you expected to be reaping the rewards?
I’m a writer whose one big goal is to write a book. I’m taking courses to become a better writer, sending off submissions, sharing posts on my blog and on social media in hopes that someday I will be a published author. One day, I sat behind my computer, pressed my fingertips onto the smooth surface of the square keys, and heard the Lord ask me, “Will you still praise me if your book never gets traditionally published? Will you still be faithful even if you don’t receive the outcome you’re working towards?”
There’s a well-known chapter in Hebrews chapter 11 that is often referred to as the “Faith Hall of Fame.” It tells the stories of well-known heroes of the Bible—people like Abraham, Moses, Isaac, and Noah—who took courageous steps of faith. For example, Noah was told there was going to be a flood that would drown the world, by faith he made an ark. Abraham was asked to travel to his new home in the Promised Land but he had no idea where he was going; by faith, he trekked through the desert.
After telling these stories about monumental steps of faith, verse 13 says, “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.”
One sentence in this verse struck me – “they did not receive the things promised.”
Our culture operates strongly based on a finish line. We train to complete a marathon. We go to graduate school to get the MBA needed to become an executive. The purpose is to get to the end, to finish the goal, to complete the project. Only then, when the finish line has been reached will we have made it. Then we’ll be commended. Then we’ll be praised. Then we’ll be worthy because we reached our goal; with this mentality, it’s all about the outcome.
But what if we, like some of the heroes in Hebrews chapter 11, never get to see the final outcome? What if we never reach what we’re working towards?
This is the beginning of my article published over on my friend Jennifer Edewaard's blog - Imperfect Purpose.
Jennifer writes to encourage women that it is in our imperfections that Christ makes His perfections shown.
Her mission is to equip women to embrace our imperfect purpose and point us towards the abundant life with God.
I am so honored to be a guest writer over on her space.
images via Jennifer Edewaard