Have you ever had a dream? I’m not talking about the kind of dream where you can fly or when you go on a grand adventure to save the princess when you’re suddenly eaten by a dragon. No, not that kind of dream, but the kind of dream that occupies your thoughts for minutes and hours and days and weeks and months and years of your life; the kind of dream that you strive with everything in your being to fulfill; the kind of dream that requires you to sacrifice relationships and comforts and common sense and logic. I have. If I think as far back as my thoughts can go, it is there - the only dream that ever really mattered; the dream I spent my life pursuing; the dream that I clung to because once I fulfilled it I would be who God created me to be: a missionary. Most people aren’t lucky enough to discover their purpose for life at such a young age. Some people go their entire lives without ever fully knowing why they’re here. Not me. I knew just who God created me to be. That is, until it all fell apart.
It would be two years before I knew what affliction attacked my body. Two years of thinking I would get better. Two years of putting my life on hold, thinking that maybe tomorrow I would be healed and able to pick up my life right where I had left off. Two years of praying for healing that has yet to come. The words Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease were foreign to me. I didn’t understand what they meant. I didn’t understand how they would impact my life. I didn’t understand that they were the first of a long list of other unpronounceable afflictions that would attack my body. What I did understand was that nothing would ever be the same. My broken heart was full of questions. “How could this have happened? Why would God allow this? What was I supposed to do now?” And the biggest question of all: “Who am I?” The title of missionary was ripped away from me like a Band-Aid over an open, festering wound.
Slowly the healing salve came, not to my body but to my heart. My body is still broken, but I am beginning to understand that I am priceless in God’s eyes. My identity is not in what I do or how other people view me. My identity is in Christ alone. I now know that God didn’t make me to be a missionary. He made me to worship Him and to glorify Him in whatever circumstances I find myself, just like the Apostle Paul.
The book of Ephesians has always been my favorite book of the Bible (if a person can have a favorite part of the Holy Word of God); however, I now see it with new eyes. Ephesians was written by Paul when he was a prisoner in Rome, probably not the fulfillment of any of his dreams. Paul starts the book by talking about who we are in Christ, and he finishes with how we should live because of who we are in Christ. The phrase “In Christ Jesus” appears eight times in this one little book. You see, it’s not about what Paul’s title was or what my title is. It’s about who we are
in Jesus. This is a lesson that I am still learning. It’s a truth that is becoming more real to me every day. Let’s learn together as we walk through the book of Ephesians. We’ll learn about grace and peace, faith and the will of God. We’ll learn what it means to glorify God in who we are and in what we do. Yes, my body is still broken, but in Christ I am a priceless treasure – and so are you! Do you believe it?
"For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." ~ Ephesians 2:10
(c) September 25, 2012