WHAT IS THE STORY YOU’LL TELL?
What are the amazing things you will speak of? How has God answered your questions, made you prosperous in the land, and brought comfort and ease to your day?
However, what if that is not your story? What if life is hard, questions aren’t answered, or you are without when you want to be “with?" Then what is the Story you would tell?
Your LIFE is made up of chapters. How many amazing chapters have you enjoyed? How many boring or disappointing or difficult chapters have been lived through, endured?
In Moses’ 120 years of life on this earth, he experienced a few weeks, at most a few months, of the amazing and the miraculous in which the Story he could tell would be thrilling, spellbinding. What would he say about the other 119 years?
How do we tell the difficult parts of our Story?
As a child, I remember receiving a gift from my parents. I opened it with relish to see a bicycle wrapped in colored paper, a gift to make me welcomed in our neighborhood to be one of riders rather than one of the watchers. This gift was requested to and delivered from parents that had little to spare. Riding brought laughter and joy. I rode away from my parents' view, away from their involvement, away from their presence.
Now, with my parents long gone, I barely remember the bike, but I remember my mom and dad's generosity and wisdom. Now I wish I would have celebrated them and the relationship they authored, more than the gift. Now I wish I had honored their presence in my life more than the gifts they gave, more that throwing a literal tantrum when I didn’t receive what I thought they promised.
I wonder if we don’t treat our story with God like that as well.
I live now with hopes and dreams still waiting for the miracle of completion.
So what story will I tell?
I think of the Story of Corrie Ten Boom as she lived in a Nazi concentration camp.
The Story she tells is of knowing and trusting the God that holds her future: the God that is using every current circumstance in preparation for that future.
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
“This is what the past is for! Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.”
What about the Biblical example of Paul and Silas singing in prison (Acts16:16)? They tell their Story in a song of relationship God that is so alluring that the guards listening want the freedom their prisoners are experiencing.
Even closer to our community is the Story Marla who sits alone in a care facility unable to move from one room to the next. It is a life of stillness that she would never have chosen, but one that has opened a deep love relationship between her and God.
These are Grownups. Grownups find God in their present STORY, whatever that story may look like.
"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me."
1 Corinthians 13:11
THE GIFT IS NOT WHAT YOU RECEIVE; THE GIFT IS THE GIVER!
The GIVER is the one who saw you before you were.
God knows you. He knows you better than you know yourself, and He knows what He is doing with you!
"For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. "
That is Your story in the DARK, DIFFICULT CHAPTERS. SURRENDER TO THE STORY.
The story we tell is more about our depth of relationship than it is about the miracles He gives along the way. If you are looking for a better life, a better story, then SURRENDER MUST become an internal habit.
YOU AND I ARE NOT CREATED TO BECOME THE CREATOR of our life, but we are continuously tempted to think we can create it. We believe that Jesus will and should fix our story to be more successful, more comfortable, more to our liking. But our story is not about a child’s hope for a Santa Claus that brings us life’s toys based on our good behavior. No, this life, this relationship, this story is about my God wooing me to surrender to His eternal, not my temporal, will, plan, and purpose.
We keep wanting to help the story be happy, but He wants the story to be deep, Meaningful! We spend more effort fixing our life than finding God in our life. Finding God’s Presence in this current chapter, however hard that chapter may be, is the story we tell. The Story not being to our liking is the age old issue. The lie that the devil spoke to Adam and Eve was that they could become like God and create their own story. And it's true that if you're smart, pretty, and connected, your story will look intelligent, attractive and popular. However, it will lack the influence of Jesus, the incomparable love of the Father and the power and passion of Holy Spirit. Your Story, the story of God & you, is meant to make HEAVEN CHEER, THE FATHER SMILE, AND FAITH GROW.
Your Story will attract the lost, broken, hopeless, helpless, the insignificant. They will see one like themselves that is walking in the tribulations of this world with a strange but powerful depth and confidence. This confidence doesn’t need a self-created, worldly, acceptable outcome in this life to be the most powerful witness of the most amazing love relationship with God. This isn't a once a year encounter with Santa Claus based on your good behavior. It's a Story of a misbehaving sinner walking humbly in surrender to the writer of the best Story. A Story for the ages, a Story begun by need, continued by dependence, written in the present tense, and freely told to the world tired of the self-created successful disappointments.
This the Story we will tell.
A Story of relationship, not gifts, the miracle of a beautiful, powerful, merciful, all knowing God encountering and walking with His Son, His Daughter who is always looking up, asking, not telling, listening, not talking, living for the bigger Story. Loving the relationship through every chapter, dark chapters, light chapters, hopeful chapters, crippling chapters, healing chapters. Knowing every chapter is lived in relationship with the ONE going through it with you, writing it with you!
This is the Story we will TELL!