Doug Creamer: What’s the purpose?

Published 3:03 pm Wednesday, October 3, 2018

I had some limbs come down during the hurricane, so I worked on getting them up over the weekend. I also had some limbs that were in the way of cutting the grass that needed to be trimmed. The weather was nice for getting the work done and it felt good getting things cleaned up. It was one of many jobs I wanted to do this fall before winter sets in.

Doug Creamer writes a religion column twice a month for the SNAP.

I felt great Saturday night after getting this and some other work done.

However, as we were eating dinner I started to itch. Then I took a look at my arm and saw the first signs of poison ivy. I quickly went and washed and treated the infected area. I went to bed thinking it was not too bad of price to pay for cleaning things up outside. Then came Sunday afternoon…the rash bloomed all over both arms and legs, too. I am now an itchy mess.

This makes me want to ask God: what is the purpose for poison ivy (and the other plants that cause such itchy rashes)? I realize they make berries that feed birds, but did the plants have to cause such havoc for us? While we are in the questioning mode, what is purpose for mosquitos? I know they are food for bats, dragonflies and hummingbirds, but did they have to be blood-thirsty creatures? Did they have to reproduce in such large, irritating quantities? Nothing can ruin sitting out on a warm summer evening like mosquitoes.

The problem with asking such questions is that it leads to so many others. Like, why do we have piranha fish? Some may wonder why sharks and killer whales exist. Still others may question the reason for snow. If you are going to question weather, then hurricanes and tornadoes would get added to the list. The real problem with this line of questions is that the created beings are questioning the Creator. Who am I (or any of us) to question God?

On a deeper and more spiritual level, we might consider what our purpose is. Why did God bother to make us and what is our purpose? The Bible teaches us that God made man because He wanted to have fellowship with us. If that is why He made us, then that should be our number one purpose. God wants to get to know us and He wants us to get to know Him. We can do that through reading His word, prayer and having conversations with God.

I believe God is serious about being our friend. He wants to walk with us through the ups and downs in our lives. He never intended for us to walk alone. He wants to reveal Himself to us. We simply need to turn our hearts toward heaven. We need to surrender to His purposes and plans so we can have a good trip through life.

I believe our second purpose is to stop living our lives for ourselves and to start living for His plans and purposes. When God created each one of us He placed within us gifts and talents that would make the world a better place.

Our job is to discover those hidden abilities so we can be a blessing to others, just like He is to us. God’s plans and purposes are far greater than anything we could ever imagine. They are also more exciting and fulfilling.

I believe our third purpose is to tell others about God’s great love, His forgiveness, grace and mercy. We live in a world of people who need the healing power of God’s love. They are lost, feel pointless and are only living for the pleasures of today.

They do not know about the glorious hope of heaven. They don’t even know about hope. I believe God wants us to live our everyday lives, doing the jobs we have and living in the routines we have established…but allowing His love to live in and flow through us. He wants us to be the light in their darkness.

He wants us to tell them about Him.

I want to encourage you to engage with these three important purposes for your life. God wants to draw closer to you, but you have to open that door.

God wants you to accept your calling, which is to share His love with the people in your life. We play a very important part in fulfilling this great commission.

While we may all continue to wonder about the purpose for mosquitos and poison ivy, I hope we will understand and embrace our purpose.

Doug Creamer writes a column about religion for The Stanly News & Press. Contact him at doug@dougcreamer. com.