The other night, I was letting my mind wander, waiting for sleep, and I heard God gently intercept my thoughts with a question: What about your story?
My heart is for stories. I am a huge believer in the power of stories to shape our lives and help us hear God better. They have the power to redirect our minds off of ourselves long enough for us to hear messages we weren’t open to before. This is why I wish people would choose their reading materials and entertainment sources more carefully, because there are stories all around us and each one affects us in deep places, often without us being aware of it. But we have the choice of what stories we are going to open ourselves up to and be influenced by…what stories we will allow to shape our perspectives and therefore our lives. I think the best place to start is with the Bible–History…the story God has been scripting in time and in eternity before time itself was even created. These accounts in Scripture are dearest to my heart. The grand story, as it has been said, where the Author is in love with the reader.
I often forget however, that this Story is still going on. Even though the official biblical canon has closed, we are still living in God’s plan for humanity, watching His purposes unfold, still walking in His mercy and favor, still heading for eternity with endless opportunities to let God write our stories, and through His Spirit’s leading and empowerment, to make our times on this earth count.
What about your story?
It’s a good question for the New Year. I feel like with this question, God is calling me to remember our story…His and mine, the story He’s called me into.
So often, I make the mistake of acting like the best stories have already been written and the best I can do is model my life after a biblical hero/heroine. However, A. W. Tozer provides a stunning perspective on the biblical characters: “At the time, they didn’t know they were heroes.”
Their struggles were the same as ours–universal, human struggles. The only difference was time and place. Their doubts were the same. Their fears and weaknesses were the same.
But most importantly, their God was the same. He never changes. The way to Him has only been opened wider because of the advent of Jesus Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church.
I feel convicted and inspired this new year to look at my own life through God’s eyes. It was as though He took my hand and led me into a movie screen, where I watched significant moments of my life pass before my eyes. They weren’t necessarily all “big” moments. Some of them were so private, only I was there for them. But God was there too. He highlighted Himself in those moments to me, opening my eyes afresh to see how He was there and has always been there–the main Character, the Author and Director, the Star of the show.
And the wonderful thing about knowing He’s the Author is knowing that He will finish what He began!
If you are in Christ, this is true for you too! So many times, I’ve told people stories of things God has done in my life and watched them act as though God had never done anything like that for them. I have been blessed with a detailed memory, and I’m an avid personal journalist. Remembering is key for me. But even though it’s one of my gifts, I still have to practice, devote myself to it, set my mind on things above. And this year, I’ve been encouraged afresh to do just that.
Believe it. God has been at work in your life in so many ways, more than you could ever ask or think. If you need help seeing it, ask Him to heal your eyes. To open the eyes of your heart. He will surely do it.
Just as He’s opening mine, more every day. Slowly waking me up.
Here’s to another chapter! Welcome, 2018!