Why Was I Made This Way???

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Saturday, August 8, 2015 0 comments

by Nathan Buck

I once had a tomato plant that split under the weight of several large tomatoes it had produced. In doing what it was designed to do, it had been broken. And yet, even though the vine split, it kept growing and producing. Why? Because that is its nature. It is how it was made. Its predisposition to produce large fruit that could break its branches did not hinder it or cause it to question its design or existence. It persevered through the brokenness and continued in its design to produce tomatoes.

As human beings we were first and foremost made and designed to reflect God's nature - made in His image. Secondly, we were made with His mission and purpose for our lives. Third, we were formed and shaped with certain predispositions.

Being made in His image is like being a tomato plant; it is by definition who and what we are as human beings. Being made with His mission and purpose for us is like the tomato plant producing tomatoes; it is our given/intended purpose and helps clarify our design and identity. Our predispositions are the unique challenges, perspectives, drives, and desires that can help or hinder our purpose. And like the tomato plant, our predispositions should never be considered as cause to rewrite or ignore our purpose or design.

Read Romans 9:16-29. In these verses, Paul lays out for us the simple truth that God has the ability and right to make us however He chooses. Our design and our mission in life are paramount, whether we like it or not. So, what if we feel like our life is hard compared to others, or like we have been made the "bad guy" like Pharaoh?

The first thing we need to settle is that this is not about God determining who goes to heaven or hell. This is something Paul uses as an example, to help us understand that whatever our assignment in life, it is a God-given privilege. Do we see it that way?

Look at verses 19-21. As a potter apprentice myself, I love this picture. As a person who often struggled with being a "jack of all trades and master of none," I am encouraged. Whatever design we have been given, it is something to delight in and celebrate God's purposes for us. It is hard sometimes; we feel like asking, "Why did you make me this way??"

It is even harder when we get distracted by our brokenness from our predispositions. When my predisposition to be competitive and win bumps up against my 'jack of all trades' skill set, I have a choice. I can lament the fact that I may never be the best in that one skill, or I can praise God for the breadth of experience He has given me that enables me to identify and connect with people from almost every aspect of life. I can lament that I may not win, or I can celebrate the greater win that comes from being designed the way I am. Turns out I am a master of something; I am mastering being a "jack of all trades."

If we focus on our predispositions and allow the challenges, or our dissatisfaction, to cause us to question our God-given identity and design, we come to a very hard place. It is a place where we risk missing the beauty of how we were made. We risk being blind to the unique way God desired to show His mercy and grace through us - our perspectives and challenges. How many have rejected God because they didn't like the way their life was turning out? How many have tried to create good or enjoyment in their own effort, only to get modest applause from the world and no satisfaction to their struggle?

Today, we have believed the lie that we can be anything, anyone, or any sex we desire to be. From legislation to body modification, we try to remake ourselves in light of our desires and predispositions. We revel in short term gratification and validation from others, and try to silence the questions about our identity and purpose. We carve out a life for ourselves, a name for ourselves, and then eventually try to leave a legacy for others based on our self. And it doesn't last, because true legacy depends on transcendent truth, and selfless effort. True legacy depends on being a part of a larger picture and playing our part, even if it was as the "bad guy."

What if Pharaoh had humbled himself and allowed God to use him fully? What if he responded with faith to God's mercy to spare his life during the plagues? How might history have played out differently for him?

What if we take our predispositions and surrender them to the identity and purpose God has given us, instead of assuming we have to rewrite the story? How would that help those who struggle with gender identity? How would that help parents who are trying figure out the best way to guide their children? How would it help addictive or lustful personalities? How would it help any of us who struggle with the hand we have been dealt? How would it help those who feel they have (and deserved) to have the best?

We are not whoever we think we are, or whoever we want to be. We are who God designed and intended us to be, regardless of physical, emotional, spiritual, or intellectual predispositions. It is not for us to re-write God's story or even our own. It is for us to seek Him and His clarity and leading, through the Bible in relationship to Jesus Christ. It is for us to respond by faith. And in that, be like the tomato plant - determined to keep on mission even as we experience our brokenness from our predispositions.

Next week we will read more on how Paul explains our need to live by faith, and not by our effort.

So how are you doing with your design and your journey so far? Are you arguing with God about who and what you think you ought to be? Or are you letting Him reveal the beauty of even the most common aspect of who He made you to be?

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