What’s the point of this? I often find myself asking. I voice it to my friends, my sister, or my husband while laughing. (Or, let’s be honest, my husband is on the receiving end of the frustrated version of this question.)
I ask this question while washing the dishes, vacuuming the floor, or on a random Wednesday while at home with my kiddos. Honestly, I sometimes wonder if my time and talents are wasted at home with my boys. On the hardest, loneliest days, I begin imagining what lies on the other side of this season. Initially, I know the answer to the burning question, What’s the point of this?
The point is to train our children. Of doing the hard work to teach them, equip them, and prepare them for adulthood. It’s a noble and necessary task. But while we fear sounding selfish, we still wonder, But what about me? Is there a point for me?
It’s a valid question. God has a purpose for everything. And we’d like to know what it is. But we struggle with this question because we’ve taken hold of the notion that difficult seasons in our life are strictly preparation for something more—something better.
We see that God used David’s time as a shepherd as practice for defeating Goliath and shepherding the nation of Israel. Joseph’s opportunity to interpret dreams while in prison paved the way for him to interpret Pharaoh’s dream. Peter grew up fishing for food and Jesus taught him how to fish for men.
God never wastes our time. Every situation has purpose and meaning. However, we unintentionally twist this truth to placate our own discontentment. If a season is hard, frustrating, or disappointing, we cling to the hope that it’s a season of preparation. That there must be something greater around the corner.
As I was reading about David and Goliath recently, I had this thought: What is God up to in my life? What might He be preparing me for?
And then God gently whispered through my imagination, “What if this is it? What if there isn’t something bigger or prettier around the corner?”
I sat with that question for a minute, unsure how I felt. Did that mean God didn’t want more for me? That He might put me on the sidelines, calling other men and women to more?
The answer of course is absolutely not. Jesus promises that He came to give us an abundant, full life. Whether or not we have an internationally known ministry, financial success, or a noteworthy career, we can have abundant life in Jesus. The Lord has us exactly where He wants us. These hard days of parenting might not be preparing us for something else, but they still have a purpose.
At the end of the day, our holiness is the most important thing to God. He is after my heart and yours. He is more concerned with shaping our hearts to look more like His.
In the Old Testament, we learn that Moses was the only man able to see God face-to-face (Deuteronomy 34:10). He regularly met with God to learn how to lead the people and teach them how to worship God. After talking with God, Moses would put a veil over his face because his face shone with the radiance of God’s glory. God’s glory was so powerful and magnificent, Moses’ face was practically glowing and it terrified the people. And since sunglasses were not a thing yet, the people couldn’t even look at Moses because his face was so bright. I can’t even imagine this! (You can read the whole story in Exodus 34. I think it’s one of my favorite chapters in all of Scripture!)
Then, as time passed, the glory would fade until Moses would go back into the presence of God, starting the whole process over again.
Paul retells this story in 2 Corinthians 3 and likens a veil as a barrier to a complete relationship with God and a full understanding of His Word.
Then Paul writes something wonderful:
“But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image” (2 Corinthians 3:16-18, NLT).
This is what God wants for you and me more than anything. His ultimate goal is to teach His children to act, think, and be more like Jesus. Today, God is using our children to shape us. So, as we ask, What’s the point of this? May we remember the answer is: our sanctification. That’s a big churchy word that is the act of making something holy; the process of being freed from sin and purified. And it just might be the whole point of our day.
I pray that it’s more than enough for us. That we understand that training us to love and live like Jesus is important to our Heavenly Father, just like training our children is important to us. Let us not be discouraged by the monotony of our days, but let us see them as the kindness they are—opportunities to be shaped and changed so that we reflect the glorious image of our Savior.
A simple prayer to repeat as we go through our days of dinosaurs and dump trucks, dishes, and dress up:
Callie Clayton writes to encourage others (and remind herself) that it’s possible to experience God right where you are. She enjoys teaching the Bible to teenagers, having good conversation over meals she didn’t cook, and baking all the chocolate desserts. Embracing her role as a boy-mom to three little ones, she and her husband are worn out, but loving the adventure of parenthood.