North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

Every person wants to be appreciated and remembered. Most times it’s not for vain glory or recognition, but for the peaceful knowledge that your life meant something and you fulfilled a purpose by having lived. We see people live 80, 90, and 100 years and think to ourselves, “My, my, my, this person got the most they could out of life and enjoyed many things.” Then we feel heartbreak over children and young people whose lives are cut short by circumstance and disease, and we think, “My, my, my, what terrible loss of life.” The Bible says, “A person’s days are numbered. You know the number of his months. They cannot live longer than the time You have set. So now look away from him that they may rest, until they have lived the time set for them like a person paid to work. For there’s hope for a tree, when it is cut down, that it will grow again, and that its branches will not stop growing” (Job 14:5-7).
I have a fond memory of someone I knew in school and whose days were numbered at 19 years-old. I recall her sweet spirit and joy of living. Melissa Gabbert passed away in 1990. She lived not far from me and today her parents live two miles away from my parents. Her mother, Brenda tells the story that while Melissa was alive she enjoyed going to small-town festivals. They would make the drive to enjoy them all. Melissa once told her mom, “Mother, when I get better, I want us to do something like that. I want us to do something for the community.” Brenda also shared something else that Melissa said before her passing. She said, “But if a die, I hope everybody remembers I was here.” This touched me and once again, my passion for purposeful and meaningful living was energized.
What are you doing that will cause people to remember you were here? What is it that you are doing to help others that come in contact with you? Like Melissa, perhaps you have the desire to help others and to be remembered for having tried to make a difference. This is noble and needs to be the desire of us all. But people with the greatest intentions will be misunderstood at times. In fact, you will have to deal with people who dislike you and don’t understand the true intentions of your heart. This is evidence that all of us must check our spirit and allow the Holy Spirit to convict, counsel, and correct our actions and our thinking. I need God’s forgiveness every day and God has taught us in His Word the process to gain that forgiveness.
I will be the first to admit that it’s scary following where the Spirit leads because it messes up all the plans that we have for our own lives. But God doesn’t always do what we feel He should. No, He always does what’s best! And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist or an industrial chemist to figure that one out. It’s a leap of faith. Does age really matter when it comes to spiritual maturity? I hope we all know that it doesn’t matter. What matters is your relationship with the Father.
Yielding to the Spirit makes us obedient. And by obedience we obtain God’s true and perfect will for our lives. Some people chose to follow the Spirit at a young age, while others wait until they’re older. But there’s danger in intentionally waiting until you’re older because you don’t know when you’re going to die!
The desire to be remembered should be accompanied by the desire to help others. Melissa wanted both. And I’m reminded of King Solomon when he took over the throne after his father, King David’s death.
Solomon was young, but mature enough spiritually to realize he couldn’t reign as king successfully in his own abilities. His father left big shoes to fill and he needed God’s help. Therefore he prayed, “O Lord my God, you have made me king instead of my father, David, but I am like a little child who doesn’t know his way around. And here I am in the midst of your own chosen people, a nation so great and numerous they cannot be counted! Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours? The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom. So God replied, because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people with justice and have not asked for a long life or wealth or the death of your enemies—I will give you what you asked for! I will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else has had or ever will have! And I will also give you what you did not ask for—riches and fame! No other king in the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life!” (1 King 3:7-13).
Take the time this week to get alone with God and ask Him to give you something that can be used to help others enjoy life. And be encouraged by Ephesians 3:19-20: “May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God; who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”
When your heart is in the right place, God gives you what you ask for. Melissa’s heart was in the right place. And her mother and father, Brenda and Gene, started the first Jay Peanut Festival a few months after Melissa went to heaven. Last weekend the 25th Peanut Festival welcomed thousands of people to the Gabbert Farm. We haven’t forgotten Melissa. Her sweet spirit and joy of living continues to this day.

Posted by on Oct 11 2015. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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