What’s the Story?

DAVES_STORYI once tried to read the story of my life, and I found it incomprehensible.

I couldn’t make any sense of it. I couldn’t discern the structure. I couldn’t trace a plot line or see story progression. I read chapter after chapter of a meandering narrative that seemed to go nowhere.

I didn’t find the protagonist to be a sympathetic figure either. To be honest, I didn’t even find him interesting. Frankly, I was tired of reading about his boring, meaningless misadventures. My life story was a book I could easily put down.

At times I even thought to myself, “Why should this story continue?”

An answer to that question came to me while I was reading the story of another David.

God spoke these words to King David:

“I took you from the sheep pasture…to be prince over my people Israel…I have been with you…I have cut off your enemies…I will make you a name…I will appoint a place for my people Israel…I will build you a house…”

I couldn’t help but notice a few things:

  1. God claims authorship of David’s story.
  2. God presents Himself as the main character in David’s story.
  3. God makes it clear that the story God is writing in David’s life is part of a larger  redemption story that He is authoring.

I found great encouragement in meditating upon these truths because I knew they applied to me just as they did to King David.  Even though I couldn’t discern a coherent narrative, I knew God was up to something good in my life. So, I continued my search to discover God’s plans for me while keeping these things in mind:

  1. My story is not really my story after all. It’s God’s story in the life of Dave.
  2. I’m not the central character or the main actor in this story. God is.
  3. God’s story in the life of Dave is part of the Big Redemption Story God is writing.

The stories God is writing in each of our lives are in no way meaningless or insignificant. They are indispensable parts of God’s Grand Narrative of Redemption. He invites us into the amazing story in which He reconciles all things to Himself through Christ and sums up everything in Him.

So, in light of this, how do we live?

We cooperate with the Author of our stories by being attentive to Him and receptive to His Spirit. We enjoy the privilege of participation with the Main Character as He acts powerfully in us and through us. And no matter how things look in any chapter or on any particular page, we can be confident that our stories are going someplace wonderful beyond our imagining.

I should mention that, as we turn the pages, bad things will happen to us, and we will do bad things. (see King David) But we mustn’t lose hope. God is writing a redemptive story. There will be a happy ending.

And our happy ending will be a glorious new beginning.

So, what’s your story?

11 thoughts on “What’s the Story?

  1. Now you are talking my kind of language, Dave.
    Story, story, story … we are all about story, aren’t we? And so is God. He is the “Author and Finisher of our faith” after all.

    • We’re skyscrapers, Beth-one story on top of the other. And, yes, God is all about story. It seems to me that one of the ways the image of God is stamped upon our souls is that we need a coherent story with a good ending. We just know that’s the way it’s supposed to be. THANK YOU for your comments.

  2. I loved this, Dave. I’ve been thinking about my story this week. Our pastor in Las Vegas, and friend, passed away yesterday from cancer. It was a short battle. His home-going has me reflecting on how he lived his story. He was passionate to share the gospel and a love of God’s word with people, and he did this around the world. A natural introvert, something happened when an opportunity to teach and share Jesus arose.

    Sometimes, I look at my own story and wonder if I’m living out all that God intends for me. I soooo appreciate your reminder that this is God’s story in me. I hope to walk out each day well, for His glory, reflecting His presence in the lives of those who cross my path each day. Thanks for sharing these thoughts today. I needed to hear them.

    • It sounds like your Las Vegas pastor walked passionately in step with the Author of his story. It bothers me whenever I notice that I’m not passionate about living because there’s nothing ho hum about what God is doing in our lives. It’s a good thing to ask ourselves if we’re really living fully in the Presence of the Author. I don’t think I am, but I desire to be fully alive in Him. “Thank you” for your good comments and “you’re welcome” for today’s thoughts on story.

  3. I like to think of my story as a pop-up book with music and stunt people.
    I never know what God has planned for me. I never thought I’d find writing, and I NEVER thought that I’d finally settle in to who I’ve been looking for all these “I know there’s something missing, Lord” years.
    No, my story isn’t perfect, but I sure am enjoying turning the next page to see what fills the day in front of me.

  4. I especially like “My story is not really my story after all.” I’m more healed and more stable and more compassionate than ever before, but I’m still not completely sold on living for God. I have a secret agenda that I’m afraid to trade in for fear I might not like his plan.

    Can you say “dumb on my part”?

    My story, like yours from the past, is pretty easy to put down, so I’m thinking it’s time for edits. This post may very well help me put my life in his hands to write. Thanks, Dave.

    • You really have a way of expressing myself–I mean, yourself 🙂 I’m tracking right with you. God’s plan makes me nervous, too, sometimes. But, deep down, I want Him to write my story. Let’s keep helping each other put our “life [stories] in His hands to write.”
      As for stringing words together, you’ve got a gift, Kim. Keep on writing.

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