Purpose in Living

Joel Plantinga

READ : Philippians 1:18-25

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (v. 21)

Many people I serve in hospice care aren’t as troubled by the thought of dying as much as by the losses they experience because their bodies are breaking down. One long-term patient who had been active with hobbies and work his whole life spent years bed-bound due to a slow-developing disease. Through tears, he would tell me how he felt like he was just lying around with no purpose, wasting away. As his chaplain, I worked to help him find comfort and meaning in his life even then.

Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians while he was imprisoned. For someone as active and powerful as Paul, prison must have felt like the worst possible situation. Yet the great apostle continued to use his ability to communicate through letters to encourage those still on the front lines of faith. Little did Paul know his letters would still be encouraging Christians centuries later! Some of the most significant things in life often happen at the most unexpected times.

My friend demonstrated great grace in his life and trusted God in the knowledge that he wasn’t just waiting to die, he was living by faith whatever the circumstances. I saw firsthand how the staff at our hospice witnessed Christ in this patient and were able to see the gospel lived out despite physical limitations. As long as you have breath, you have purpose!


Lord, keep me alert to your calling in my life always. Amen.