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Story

– A post that has been in the works for quite some time – 

“If we despise the day of small beginnings, we despise God’s plan for the universe.” – Doug Wilson

 

Stories. They are beautiful things. I love reading stories. I love listening to stories. I know I am part of a story. The hardest part of stories is not knowing the ending when some trouble comes up. When reading, it is easy because you can continue to flip the pages, reading quickly to learn what happens next… to find out what the ending is. But being in the middle of a story and not being able to continue to flip the pages quickly to learn what happens, how the story ends, but to watch the ink as it is put on the page, one line at a time and slowly the page unfurls… that is hard. Someday, being able to read the story will be great… knowing the end or being able to race to it. Today isn’t that day. Today is a day of patience and a day of trust. Today is a day of letting go and a day of submission. Today is a day of peace and a day of joy. Today is a hard day, but, at the same time, an easy day. Somedays it would be nice to be able to race to the end, but then, what would be the point? It would be done with. It would be over. You are living a story and it is beautiful. You won’t know what comes next, but you know the One that is writing the story.

“Wherever Jesus may lead us, He goes before us. If we know not where we go, we know with whom we go…. The journey may be long, but His everlasting arms will carry us to the end.” – C.H. Spurgeon

 

Every story must have its troubles, otherwise it would not be a story. What is past is done. Once it is confessed and forgiven, it is truly past. The only thing you can focus on at this point is what you are to be doing right now. Often at Appleseed events I am telling people what one wise instructor told me. “Leave the last shot, you can’t change it. Make the next shot count. Don’t let the last one psych you out. Focus on taking the next one correctly. You can’t affect the last shot, but you can put the next one right where you want it.” I hadn’t really thought about it except for in Appleseed terms, but it is true of life.

God is the Master Story Writer/Teller. His timing is perfect. Everything he includes in your story has a purpose, it just isn’t always obvious what that purpose is. You are a child of God and He will give you His best for what you need. The story is in his hands. He knows the situations that you will be in long before you were even thought of on earth. God writes amazing stories, full of joy and sorrow, harmony and conflict, light and dark. If there was no sorrow, no pain, no conflict, no dark… there would be no story. There would be no contrast.

“God’s triumphs are cleverly disguised as disasters.” – Doug Wilson

“We wouldn’t choose the story that God tells in our lives, but God knows better. He weaves the dark shadows into our stories so that the light of His grace and mercy shines brighter.” – Toby Sumpter

“Your past does not hold you. Your failures do not imprison you. Your weakness cannot hold you back, because Jesus has made you right with God.” – Toby Sumpter

 

I think one of the hardest things is when you come to the end of a particular chapter. You don’t know where you are going from here. You don’t know if paths crossed for a time or for a lifetime. You don’t know what the conclusion of this chapter will be or the beginning of the next. But you have to trust that God knows the desires of your heart and that if it is His will, in your best interest, those desires will be filled. However, you also have to trust that if your desires are not in accord with His will, your desires will be shaped to His will. They will be changed.

There are some days when I get impatient and others when patience comes a lot easier. I am learning. Each story happens one line at a time and there’s no sense in trying to flip through the pages of life just to see what comes next. It’s short enough as it is! Like Pastor Wilson said in that last week’s sermon, “We have to trust. It’s up to the Lord of the story.” Some days trusting the Master Storywriter is easy, other days it’s hard. Welcome to life. 😉;) One nice thing is that peace follows closely on the heels of trust.

If we say we trust God, then we must trust him. No matter how hard or frustrating it is. We serve the One who sees all ends. His plan is extraordinary. I won’t pretend to understand it all, because I can’t. But I can have confidence that He knows what He’s doing and it will be very good.

“To get where we are going, we have to do a lot more dying, a lot more going into the ground, a lot more giving ourselves away. … Think like a seed. … It is to go in the ground and die, expecting great things to result from it.” – Doug Wilson

 

Philippians 1:6 “… Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ…”

1 Peter 1:6 “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that parishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope”

 

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