I chose to focus on pain as a lynchpin to discovering one’s purpose because pain, often strikes to the very core of one’s being and allows us to reflect on what really matters in life.
Firstly, I should define what I mean by pain. Essentially, I am talking about pain such as that of a child who grew up in a dysfunctional family and through the pain of her childhood, swears to help repair broken families. Or the pain of Abraham Lincoln who had a passion for politics but failed so many times in running for office, that everyone counted him out of running for becoming a senator much less a president.
Or the pain of Joseph (prince of Egypt) who as a child was mistreated by his brothers because of his ability to dream about the future. This mistreatment eventually led to the pain of servitude, where Joseph sold as slave to Egypt, learned to be a servant to the highest echelon of the ancient world.
What life pain have you had, or do you currently have, that you can truly consider purposeful. For it to be purposeful it must:
1. Be something that you have come to terms with
I say this because so many are trying to help others without removing the “board in their own eye”. Either because they have a blind spot in that area or are truly misguided. The person who tries to counsel others without having been healed of emotional pain will be at best ineffective. Joseph had to come to terms with where he was at. In prison or serving at Potiphar’s house, either way he was a slave with no rights, and no prospect of freedom. Sometimes accepting the truth about yourself is really the first step towards progression. As you accept where you are at, and the cards that you have been dealt with, you may then be positioned to get the appropriate relief you need from you pain.
2. Be repositioned to help others
Joseph’s story ends beyond belief. Because of his gift and experience in servitude, he is promoted to serve in an almost equal capacity the greatest ruler in the ancient world, pharaoh. As fate would have it, he faces his brothers again after decades of separation. This would have been an opportune time for revenge since he had the upper hand, yet because of the self soul surgery he had already underwent, Joseph’s take is different. His brothers rightly so to be afraid of death, beseeched Joseph not to hurt them, after all they had sold him to slavery. Joseph’s reply smacks of purpose: “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt.”
Sovereignly, God has chosen for you to be evil to me, so that I can be good to you in my position, is essentially Joseph’s take on the pain of his purpose.
I pray that we would all have this take when we to through trials. Not all trials and pains are from the devil. Indeed some may be allowed by God in part of our formation to shape and fashion our God-given purpose.
As we continue this series on purpose, may God show you his ultimate purpose….to glorify God, and may he reveal the ins and outs of this purpose.
– Pastor Olu Jegede