My son Cooper was born and lived three and a half years of his life in Africa. He is five now and is wrestling with the fact that his skin color is manyshades darker than the rest of his family’s. He keeps running his hand up and down my arm and asking me, “Where can we go, so I can get skin like this?”
He’s not speaking with knowledge of the painful history of his skin color in our country yet. He just wants to be like his family. His identity is unique in our family. So he quietly asks me as we lay in bed before prayers:
“Why did God make me born in Africa?”
“Why did God put me in another mommy’s tummy?”
“Why did God make me?”
My five-year-old needs to know his life was on purpose and for a purpose. He wants to know he wasn’t an accident. Cooper will never make sense of his life until he understands God’s bigger, eternal story, and how the God who made him placed him in his spot. It’s a big earth, and when Cooper studies it, he sees countries separated by a huge ocean and he feels lost and small in it.
My sense is Cooper is not the only one.
I think a lot of us feel lost and small.
We all want to know we are not accidents. We all want to know our stories are going somewhere on purpose. Something deep down inside us is made to live for a story bigger than ourselves—the story of the one who made us. Any other version of this story will consistently feel shallow and empty.
And because of that we desperately want to find “God’s will for me.” We want to know we exist on purpose and for a purpose. We often try to find “God’s will for me” without simply first understanding God’s will. But we will only ever discover his will for us within God’s will for this earth, for eternity, and for his people. We were made for this story-his story. And yes, he wrote little parts for each of us in his story. Or else we wouldn’t exist.
What is most difficult for you to believe about God’s story?
How confident are you that God has specific purposes for your story? What difference has that made to you?