The author Philip Yancey once said that whatever his topic, he ends up writing about pain. As he reaches out to those for whom life doesn’t seem to make sense, he often discovers that the root of their pain is a problem in their relationship with God. He stated that God’s mandate and challenge to Christ followers is to represent His love to a suffering world.[i]
|Image by Kasia Mosaics|
While Yancy’s theme is singular and focused, my themes are multifaceted—like a mosaic. God has taken many experiences, interests and callings, and is shaping them together into a design for my ministry to others.
Some of my themes come from the crucible of life. God has taken broken pieces of my fears, worries, trauma, and weaknesses, and brought healing to many of those areas. In turn, He is giving me opportunities to offer comfort, healing and restoration from desolation, and new life through God’s power. One scripture that has become very meaningful is, “(God) comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others” (2 Corinthians 1:4).
Another theme includes seeing God, both in the ordinary and in key turning points of my faith and the faith of others. Through a touch of His gentle presence, a word to my spirit, an unusual answer to prayer, and a new discovery, God transforms those experiences into moments of grace. I’ve written a number of what I call these “Divine Touches” to encourage others to see God in their circumstances, and to develop both a deeper faith and a greater vision of Himself.
A third theme began early as an interest in missions and other peoples of the world. Teaching in Colombia and later teaching English to immigrants and refugees has given me a wider compassion for internationals. I regularly pray for my former students and sponsored children, as well as connect with internationals at the grocery store, at church, and in my neighbourhood.
If my life themes are the mosaic tesserae (pieces) of God’s plan for me, the glue that holds them together is spending time with Him and through prayer. When I do so, the Holy Spirit infuses me to ask in faith to receive answers that are far above what I’ve asked. But He has also reminded me to always pray and not to faint where I haven’t received answers—yet (Luke 18:1).
My ultimate purpose, however, is God’s ultimate purpose for me, and that is to glorify Him. Just as brilliant light shines through finished glass mosaics, my purpose is to shine God's glory through all I do.
|Image by Modern Met|
While writing this blog, two major words that have come to mind are “transformation” and “reconciliation”. Christ came to reconcile us to God and is transforming us. Then God has commissioned us for the ministry of reconciling others to Himself. (2 Corinthians 5:18)
Working on this blog has opened up deeper lines of thought, and I have much more work to do in articulating and expanding my themes and the meaning and purpose to which God is calling me. I have written more extensively on some themes than others, and now God is prompting me to explore new potentials, delve deeper into His truth and increase my passion to continue His mission for me.
Each person has a specific message—a niche in God’s continuing story of redemption. Just as God chose and appointed Jeremiah as a prophet (Jeremiah 1:5), He has uniquely positioned us in our families, our geographic location and society. He has designed our message to fit in this timeline of history—a message of hope and love to a lost and confusing world that so needs Christ.
How has God called you to be part of His continuing story?
What redemptive themes percolate through your writing, speaking and singing ministries?
How has and is God empowering you to meet the needs of those around you and beyond?
Note: For further reading on life themes, see some of our bloggers’ earlier discussions by Brenda Leyland, Marnie Pohlmann, Bob Jones, and Alan Anderson.