Why Am I Here?
(Today’s devotion is written by Brenda Brown, who helped write the new book The Deeper Life – Satisfying the Eight Vital Longings of the Soul. She also has a ministry to moms and you can check out more at http://www.momofinfluence.com/.)
Mom Stress. A Google search will reveal over 80 million responses to these words. What causes stress for moms? Usually it’s the demands on her time. Most mothers find that there are simply not enough hours in the day to do everything that they need to do. Each morning holds the promise of great potential, but somewhere along the way – the dirty diaper just as we’re headed out the door, the call to pick up a sick child from school five minutes before that important meeting – the list of interruptions can go on and on. By the end of the day we crawl into bed exhausted and discouraged from that nagging feeling that we didn’t accomplish enough. But just what is enough? Daniel Henderson often defines discouragement as “a temporary loss of perspective.” In order to regain the perspective that will bring new meaning to the hours of our day – not to mention a better night’s sleep – we need to discover our purpose by answering the question, “Why Am I Here?”
Here for a Reason
In the movie “Hugo,” an orphaned boy is desperate to repair a broken machine called an automaton. Convinced that this mechanical man held a secret message from his father, Hugo struggled to make the necessary repairs in the hope of finding a purpose for his life. Disappointed by his inability to fix the contraption, 12-year-old Hugo observed, “Maybe that’s why a broken machine always makes me a little sad, because it isn’t able to do what it was meant to do… Maybe it’s the same with people. If you lost your purpose, it’s like you’re broken.” 
Many of us feel broken. We have no idea why we are here. Until we understand our purpose, life really has no meaning. The fact is that God wants us to live a life of significance – a life that is clearly ours because of Him. Young Hugo later explained his philosophy regarding a purposeful life to his childhood companion, Isabelle: “Machines never come with any extra parts, you know. They always come with the exact amount they need. So I figured if the entire world was one big machine, I couldn’t be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.”
We are all on this earth for a reason. The Amplified Bible describes this as “a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). As we embrace the noble purposes of God for everyday life, we are not just fulfilling mundane tasks. We are joining the God of the universe in a plan that matters for eternity.
The Perspective of Purpose
Even though the noise of life screams for our attention and the troubles of life attempt to derail us, knowing the “why” behind it all keeps circumstances in perspective. Purpose gives us real assurance that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
After her diagnosis of breast cancer in 1998, Stefanie Spielman, wife of former NFL star Chris Spielman, began to embrace her purpose in life. During her ten year battle with the disease, she and Chris raised over nine million dollars for breast cancer research. But Stefanie’s purpose went much deeper than simply raising money for this important cause. Stefanie’s daughter, Madison, recently reflected on her mom’s purpose in life: “She never once questioned God’s plan for her and instead of sitting around feeling sorry for herself, she stood up and did something about it. When once asked why she thought she had to go through all of the pain and suffering cancer brings along with it she simply smiled and said, ‘Why not me?’” Though Madison was only fifteen when her mother died, she was clearly impacted by the joy her mother brought to others. “She gave hope to those who thought it no longer existed,” writes Madison. “Soon after my mom passed away, we received a letter from a woman my mom had spoken to several years earlier. In her letter, this woman told how she had spoken to my mom to thank her for everything she had done to fight cancer and give people hope. My mom looked at her in surprise and, after a moment’s hesitation, said, ‘Don’t you understand? That’s why I’m here.’ My mom knew her purpose on this earth, and she welcomed the challenge with open arms.”
Identifying Our Purpose
How can we welcome the challenges of our life with open arms? By renewing our minds in truth and identifying our purpose. The Bible consistently reaffirms that Jesus came with a clear sense of purpose. One of these declarations occurred early in the ministry of the Lord when He visited the town of Capernaum. After amazing everyone with His teaching, He then demonstrated His power by casting out demons and healing various kinds of sickness. Naturally, the people of the town wanted Jesus to remain with them, but He responded, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” Jesus stayed focused on His purpose in order to fulfill His mission on earth.
In the book The Deeper Life, Daniel Henderson describes three aspects of purpose – eternal, earthly, and explicit. The exercises in the book will help you to discover and clarify your God-given purpose in life. A wise man once said, “Great minds have purposes. Others have wishes.” Are you spending your life wishing and wondering, or do you have a God-given purpose that compels you? Once you are able to capture the vital essence of your eternal, earthly, and explicit purposes, you will no longer be discouraged with days that feel meaningless.
Take heart, mom. By answering the question, “Why am I here?” and keeping your focus on your purpose, you will have accomplished much more than you realize when you crawl into bed tonight. You will have joined the God of the universe in a plan that matters for eternity.
Copyright © 2014 Brenda Brown. All rights reserved.
 Quoted in Hugo, (Paramount Pictures, 2011).
 Spielman, Chris, That’s Why I’m Here (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012), 9–10.