Tonight I drove Adelade to a neighboring town for her dance class. I try to carve out times like these when we can leave the other kids at home with Chad and she and I can have uninterrupted conversations. Sometimes she talks for a solid hour about girl drama. Sometimes she is silly and we giggle about everything. But, sometimes, she is feeling especially contemplative and she talks openly about some of the deeper things that she’s been thinking through. On those days, I’m always surprised by her insight, and I’m reminded that she is a unique soul, separate from me and quite spectacular in the special and particular ways that God crafted her.
Tonight she told me that she wishes she had been born in the 70s. I mean, she said while looking out the window at a field filled with cows, I know God put me here at this time for a specific purpose and all that… and her voice trailed off, and I could feel the longing in her heart even while we nonchalantly chatted. She is worried. She wishes that she could have come of age in the 80s, when electronics weren’t an issue. When kids just played outside. When they weren’t faced with a world of absurdity at every turn, boys in the girls’ bathroom, presidential candidates with no scruples of any kind, the kinds of horrors that she is convinced will pop up at any moment on kids’ cellphones. And, the truth is, she doesn’t know the half of it. She continued. I mean, what kind of world are my kids going to grow up in, if this is where we are right now?
And, honestly, I didn’t know what to tell her. I am amazed that at eleven years old, she is so aware of how upside down the world is. That we share the same worries and fears about the future of the human race. Humanity seems determined to remain an enemy of God, and it’s so obvious that a fairly sheltered child can clearly see it.
But, then I kept coming back to what she said: I know God put me here at this specific time for a purpose.
I looked at her freckled face in my rearview mirror. And, I felt hope.
Because she’s right. God isn’t wondering how this is all going to turn out. He isn’t wishing on a lucky star that some people turn up who are bold champions of this faith, who are determined to share His love with a dying world. He isn’t pacing the floor trying to figure out how this all ends up. No, He has placed me here and you here and Adelade here and a whole throng of people here, at this specific time, for a purpose. His purposes are good, we know, because He told us so (Romans 8:28).
I wish it were a different world. I wish that Adelade was growing up in a society that honors God and loves Him deeply. Instead, she is growing up in a confused and self-serving place. But, how much brighter will her light shine when she is set in the middle of a dark world? When Christ’s love and mercy and truth and wisdom pour out of her, how much more will it change things, simply because she is here? Now. At this specific time. For a purpose.
And, how much more do my words and attitudes and actions matter in the current environment? He placed me here and you here because He knew He could use us. Now. For His glory, and for the salvation of many.
Really, our time on this earth is so short. Even if we live to a ripe old age, our lives come and go in a heartbeat. Why do we worry more about the next twenty years than we think about the next million? This is our time. Our one shot at making an impact on eternity. I think Adelade will do great things for God. I want Him to use me, too. So, I’ll trust Him. With my life. With the lives of my kids and grandkids. And, with the future of this crazy, mixed up world.
This is our time. What will we do with it?
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31