“As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” — Isaiah 55:10-11

A craving for significance rumbles from the pit of every soul born to this earth. Humanity scrambles across time and space to accomplish a life that matters. It seems an understatement to say we’re desperate for purpose.

If I had the product to assure our lives would resonate with purpose, I’d have no marketing challenges. Packaged in plastic, canned, or bottled, the key to significance would sell itself. Millions would clamor to purchase such an invention.

Most advertising suggests a promise of esteem, tugging at the inner human thirst for significance. I’ve chased mirages of beauty, performance, and acceptance for much of my life. Spiritual disciplines and acts of service fall short of fulfilling my yearning for purpose. My prayers have oozed with pleas for fruitfulness, but I continue to feel stuck in an existential wasteland.

Though I’ve searched for years, I still don’t have that clever product to ensure a life of meaning.

Today, the Lord encouraged me to study Isaiah 55, where I noticed a simple truth for the first time–I cannot accomplish purpose, yet God’s purpose cannot fail. I knew striving defeats the blessing of obedient surrender. I knew God’s ultimate will would be done. I didn’t see myself at the center of God’s victorious word. Becoming a vessel of God’s Word assures accomplishment according to His desire. I might never know the results, but the Lord assures success when He originates the message.

I’ve been distracted by lack of visible productivity from establishing faith in the unseen fruit. If God speaks and wills something through an obedient vessel, He will see it through to accomplish His purpose. It might not match my definition of significance. I might never see the result. If God desires it, that’s more than sufficient.