Whatever You Do, Don’t Miss This One Thing

Sometimes I’m really a downer, I know.

I felt it myself recently when I read a Facebook advertisement by a well-meaning, sparkly Christian personality. She was advertising workshops to help women discover God’s wonderful unique plan for each of them.

I get it. I’m not opposed to this concept. If you attend her workshop, I’m confident you’ll be blessed, and God will work through it and through you. I want God’s wonderful plan for me. I do believe God wants us freed to be our individual unique selves, the ideas of us He had in His mind at our conception.

But, here’s the downer part: I pictured Betsie ten Boom signing up for this woman’s seminar and I worried that our cultural perspective is skewed.

Are we so focused on self-actualization and personal fulfillment that we set ourselves up to miss God’s perspective on what His plan may actually be for our lives this side of glory?

I’ll bet Betsie ten Boom had dreams.

I’ll bet she had heart desires, talents, gifts, hidden skills, yearnings of the soul, and she clearly pursued God. Betsie was Christ-like,

heroic, daring, and brave when she and her sister, Corrie, risked everything to hide Jews from the Nazis. I’m sure she made every dangerous choice prayerfully trusting God all the way.

But as it turns out, following Jesus led Betsie through Ravensbruck concentration camp in Nazi Germany.

She continued to follow Him even there. Betsie testified to others that Jesus was present with them in the camps, and she received visions of the work she and her sister would do once they were freed, but Corrie pursued those visions alone because Betsie died in Ravensbruck.

She was freed but not to life on this side of glory. This was God’s wonderful plan for Betsie’s life.

And one day, we will all clearly see the magnificence and wonder of it but there is no romanticizing a death surrounded by cruelty, mistreatment, and bondage in a flea-infested concentration camp far from comfort and loved ones.

If Betsie had been pursuing her best life “now”, she might have missed the true object of her life’s pursuit – Jesus Christ.

In following her Savior, she found life that transcended even a miserable death beneath the boot of evil. And as that boot descended onto her throat, she cried out her testimony for Jesus Christ and we can still hear her voice today.

Revelation 12:11 ESV reads, “And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” Where is the seminar for that calling? Where is the workshop where we learn to die to all we hoped and dreamed as we follow Jesus into the deepest pit so we can call out that His light shines even there?

Because, loved ones, if you have found Jesus, you have found everything. Even if following Him has led you to broken people and places. Even if following Him has uncovered the brokenness in you. Even if your dreams elude you – if Jesus hasn’t, then you are living a life that leads to more life, eternal life, not death.

I believe it’s okay to pursue our unique callings, but our primary pursuit should always be Jesus. And we need to be careful that we aren’t so busy seeking our wonderful, best life that we forget to serve Him and those around us in the moment in which we find ourselves now.

Betsie ten Boom served her fellow prisoners and testified to the presence of Jesus Christ in the bowels of the Nazi killing machine – that’s a wonderful life – the likes of which I pray I’m spared, but it brings me needed perspective in this modern age of personal glory.

When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were about to be thrown in the fiery furnace for refusing to bow down to false gods, they made this proclamation:

“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:17-18

Even if I don’t find my wonderful personal calling, even if I die in a concentration camp, even if I’m thrown into a fire, there is only One God, and this God IS life.

So if it’s life we want – it’s Him we want. THAT’s what you don’t want to miss, loved ones. If we miss our calling, if we don’t achieve our goals and dreams, if we never find our passion, we can still live an abundant life in Christ if we don’t miss Him.

Live like you have forever, my friends, because if we follow Jesus, we do.

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23 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Jan Clough says:

    This really is a true calling. May l always pray your will not mine Lord!

    Thank you and bless you Lori for that timely reminder.

  2. Maxine D says:

    Thank you for this refreshing perspective Lori – Jesus should be ‘enough’ for each of us, and we should seek His face, and not the adulation of (wo)mankind

  3. Charlene M. Ryerson says:

    Sobering message

  4. Lucinda Secrest McDowell says:

    So true. I find myself reacting that way to some adverts and people as well. Corrie and Betsie’s story has been an inspiration to me my whole life. love Cindy

  5. Maggie Rowe says:

    Lori, your post offers a much needed perspective corrective to the well-meaning ‘best life now” offerings out there. Thank you!

  6. Mairlyn Nutter says:

    Thanks Lori. John 10:10 is written all over this blog. I appreciate the reminder to stay focused and pursue Jesus and not be distracted to head in different directions even when fulfilling our calling. Your illustration of Betsie ten Boom is thought provoking.

  7. Heidi says:

    Oh, Amen, Amen! Thank you so much for this, Lori.

  8. Deb says:

    “Live like you have forever, my friends, because if we follow Jesus, we do.“
    I love that because of the peace and confidence I have in Christ allows me that eternal perspective. Earlier today I was driven to my knees again by the reality that billions on this earth do not have that peace and confidence – they don’t have our same forever, by circumstances or by choice. I have such gratitude for the cross and Gods mercy and grace.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I used to have all this angst….”but what is God’s will for my life???!!”
    I would have been signing up for that conference and taking notes and asking questions and buying all the resources.
    Then I read scripture like Ephesians 3:16-19 and Colossians 1:9-12. Know Him. Just know Him. Lori, you speak such truth and you do it right when I need to hear it!

  10. Suzanne says:

    Thank you. I so needed and appreciate each word you shared. I love the stories of the ten Boom sisters. Thank you. It’s too early for me to say much more if I want it to be coherent. 🥰

  11. Val says:

    So powerful. Thank you Lori.

  12. Jerry - baby rescuer says:

    This article/essay/blog is similar to the one I read many years ago that prompted me to follow your blogs (the only one). Bless you for having the insight and courage to write what will be increasingly relevant in times to come.

  13. d says:

    AMEN!! Thank you for the reminder.

  14. Terresa says:

    Oh my goodness this needed said! All these “feel good about doing this ‘insert event/avtivity here’ and costs money too”! I struggle financially day to day but I share the love of Jesus with whomever I do come in contact with, even if it’s just a smile with someone downcast…

    I cannot get caught up in the pursuit of the great dream!

  15. Harris Murray says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. Words needed for every day – my life is not about me but about my Lord and Savior Jesus. Fulfillment is found in Him and Him alone. So treasure your perspectives.

  16. Jan Christiansen says:

    Great post! I spent years pleading with God to “show me my purpose” A month ago, He spoke these words straight into my heart – “Just walk with me everyday.” I immediately thought of the disciples walking with Jesus every day. Going where He went, learning from Him, watching what He did, how He treated people, following His instructions. This is my life purpose – to walk with Him every day. Thanks Lori, for another soul stirring dose of truth.

  17. Barb Welch says:

    This message is similar to what I read in Oswald Chambers devotional “My Utmost for His Highest” this morning! John 14:12 says And greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father. We instantly dream of all the great works God may do through us, but PRAYER IS the greater work. Daily I pray and then go forth to my work environment and do all I can to draw others to Christ through my words, His Word, my walk and all the ways I encourage and build up those around me. I may never know all the fruit or good works Christ has brought forth through me, but I still battle for souls in His name and trust Him to bring forth fruit for His Kingdom. I only do that which Christ directs me to do. Knowing that is my focus is sufficient for me. I am a child of God seeking to lift Him up in all that I am to HIS glory.

  18. Joanne Urbany says:

    Great word and so needed! Thank you.

  19. Bruce Cunningham says:

    Another Masterpiece of Truth Lori!!!

  20. Renee says:

    Wow, just wow! Thank you.

  21. Lori Ann Hatcher says:

    Ah, friend, you’ve name dropped the names of several of my heroes — Betsy and Corrie, Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego. I love their words that echo into our century: “Our God is able to rescue us, o King, but even if he doesn’t, we will not bow down.” May the same Spirit that gave them courage also give us courage when our turn comes to testify of his power.

  22. Anonymous says:

    AMEN!!! More of Him, Less of me.

  23. Rob McCullough says:

    The Lord let me see the extra light in the hearts of those who stayed true to Him in the really hard times during the holocaust. Staying true to Him in the really hard times is so worth it. Thank you for speaking to the core of being a Christian.