Purposeful Life

A few years ago I was asked to speak on the question: What is God’s purpose for my life? As I considered the possible answers, I envisioned myself living on a mission field, speaking before captivated crowds, and signing autographs on my latest best seller. Something grandiose. Something spectacular.

I also thought of those before me and God’s purpose for their lives, specifically those martyred for their faith—and wondered how I measured up.

Then I remembered Susanna Wesley. Susanna lived in the late 1600’s and early 1700’s, was married to a difficult man (to say the least), and endured many hardships. Susanna bore nineteen children (yes, 19!). She was well-educated, studied and memorized much of Scripture, and spent long periods of time with the Lord. As a matter of fact, her children were trained not to interrupt her when she flipped her apron over head. For that was the signal that she was engaged in prayer with the Lord. And to think, we use all types of excuses not to spend quiet moments with Him.

Susanna Wesley

Susanna poured her life into her children. She educated them in academics, various languages, and in the Bible. But her primary concern was for their souls.

Raising children may not seem like a noble purpose. It’s not grandiose or spectacular. But, Susanna Wesley obeyed God and His calling.

You may not have heard of Susanna, but you have probably heard of at least one, if not two, of her children.  John Wesley and Charles Wesley were instrumental in starting a Methodist movement. Out of this movement, the Wesleyan denomination was born. In addition, Charles Wesley published words to 6000 plus hymns, many of which are still sung today.

I am not claiming one of my children will start a church movement. However, when life appears dull and pointless, Susanna’s long-time commitment to parenting urges me forward. She persevered with no knowledge of the outcome, and so should I.

So . . . what is God’s purpose for my life right now?

  • As I drink coffee with my husband, to be a listening ear.
  • As I homeschool, to teach my children in the way they should go, so when they are old they will not depart from it.
  • As I clean house, fold laundry, and cook supper, to provide a safe haven for my family—a place where they feel comfortable being themselves and sharing their joys and heartaches.
  • As I listen to a friend in need, to be a source of encouragement and love.
  • As I shelve books at the library, to be connected with the community and contribute additional income to our family.
  • As I help with Kid’s Club, to show His love to hurting and lost children.
  • As I speak, write, and disciple ladies, to point others to freedom found only in Christ.

Let me encourage you to persist in God’s purpose for your life even if it seems bland and uninteresting because you may be fostering another John or Charles Wesley.

What is God’s purpose for your life right now?


4 thoughts on “Purposeful Life

  1. Thanks for this post, Barb. I’ve been going through some difficulties at work, and this reminder that the things we do now may bring future results of which we are not currently aware has been very encouraging to me. It will help me deal with that nagging “Why am I doing this?” question …


  2. Barb, a super message, and one we can’t hear enough in this celebrity culture. Those who are “faithful over a few things” are commended by the Lord! My friend used to say that the woman who packed the loaves and fishes for her son that morning probably had no idea they would end up feeding 5000, but God is able to multiply our efforts! Thanks for an encouraging reminder of that.


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