What is life? What is it to truly live? What is the purpose of living? These are questions I’ve often asked myself. The answer is actually quite simple. For me, living is to simply do the will of the Father. My whole purpose is to worship Him, bring Him glory and honor, and point others to Him. That’s why I’m here. That’s why we’re all here. But it’s not always easy to keep that in perspective.
I’m a pretty emotional person. My mood can change in a moment. Through trial and error, I have learned how to minimize this, but those underlying shifts still occur from time to time. It’s mostly circumstances, difficulties, or just my own mind and thoughts that cause the shift. I can be loving life one minute and the next just think, ‘wow this is a sad world.’ I can feel totally loved and then totally alone within a moments notice.
That’s not to say I don’t like emotions. I’m all for emotions. They’re what make us feel ALIVE. To love someone, to have compassion for what another is going through, to know pain and loss, these all connect us to one another. The key issue with emotions are people let emotions control them, instead of the other way around. We shouldn’t be lead by our emotions; rather, use wisdom and truth to make decisions.
For instance, you may get mad at someone, (in my experience it holds especially true with siblings), then say something hurtful and not think a second thought. But you can’t take it back. You can apologize sure, but you can never physically take those words back. They’re gone forever. And words really can hurt. They can cut like a sword to the heart. That’s just one example of so many times we can let our emotions control us. That’s why it’s so vital not to react to conflict, but to respond to it. Let some time pass, think it through, and you’ll realize you can respond in a calm, collected manner in a way you that you won’t regret later.
Now what does all of this have to do with the question “What is life”? We are a body, soul, and spirit, and yet all we usually think about when we think of living is the body. But there is so much more to life than just breathing, eating, and sleeping. The intellectual, creative, and emotional side of living is so much more real and far more important to life than we realize.
As I said earlier, I’m pretty emotional. Growing up I always wore my heart on my sleeve. If I did something wrong, I got all tore up about it. If I hurt someone, I would just about die. Growing up that way, I guess that’s what caused me to eliminate emotions entirely. I would rather feel nothing at all, than to feel pain or regret. But that’s no way to live. Thankfully I feel I have learned a lot over my short lifetime.
DOUBT, FEAR, they’ll never truly go away. They’re quite patient actually. No matter how many times you reject them, they’re always hanging around, waiting for circumstances to rise up so they can try to attach themselves to you like leaches. Sucking the life blood out of you. Causing you to doubt your God, and doubt yourself. Now there’s also fear. Now fear comes in many forms. Fear of the unknown. Fear of being alone. Fear of what others think about you. Just to name a few.
Life hits hard. We all have things we go through. Times where we question our beliefs, who we are, and if we’re even strong enough to carry on. But it’s actually life’s toughest challenges that build the most character, and mold us into who we are to become. It’s when we go through life’s fires, that we can come out as gold. But only if we embrace the pain and allow God to use it to shape us into who He wants us to be.
There will always be pain in this life. And things that we don’t understand, and simply can’t understand. But at the end of it all, we’ll realize we learned the most about God, ourselves, and each other when we went through hell. But whatever we go through in this life won’t compare to that joy that’s coming on the other side.
Romans 8:18 “The pain that you’ve been feeling, can’t compare to the joy that’s coming.”
Romans 8:28 “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
1 Peter 1:7 “These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold–though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”