Monday, October 19, 2015

A story you won't believe

For a couple of days, we are visiting my in-laws.  When we arrived yesterday, my mother-in-law caught me glancing at a hardback novel placed on a table. "Have you read that book?" she asked.  "It is the most incredible story.  I couldn't put it down."  And pointing to my father-in-law, she said.  "I made him read it too."

"I couldn't even sleep until I finished it," he added.

It is one of our most basic affections to be drawn to stories, those written and those unfolding all around us.  That is how we learn, that is how we grasp the big picture of where we are and who we are, and that is how we come to know God more.

It is not so much in books that we experience those truths, but in realizing that we are each living in a story you won't believe, a story of God's own redeeming.

Incredible stories are God's specialty, a profound narrative from the beginning of time, the chronicles of real people with real problems woven together in God's Word, no glossing over imperfect actions, but the seamless fabric of God's redeeming in the lives of ancient peoples.

And as God intends for me to see, redeeming even my own.

Both writers and voracious readers know the pattern of what is known as "the story arc."  The elements of the story build upon each other, layer upon layer, character by character, the tensions are not arbitrary but intricately designed.  The crisis is not random, but an integral part of the story. Intrigue keeps us turning the pages.

And then ... the redeeming.  All the pieces suddenly come together.  What doesn't belong makes sense after all.  It is all connected, the hand of the master storyteller, the hand of the Author of life itself.

And so, when things seem impossible
   and the pieces don't make sense,
and "how in the world is this going to work out?"

God says, "Ahhhhh, you are just getting to the good part."

One of my favorite memories of our daughters was when they would burst in the door after school with great excitement in their voices, "Oh mom, you wouldn't believe what happened today!"

Live that way
    even in that which you don't understand.

You are in the midst of the most incredible tale,
            a story you wouldn't believe.
It is not that you will somehow make it through,
it is not that things will work out,
           but God is bringing it.

Now to Him
   who by the power at work within us
is able to do
              far more abundantly
than all we ask or even imagine...

                          Ephesians 3. 20

Your story is not over,
      but bursting with profound hope.
There is something deeper going on here.

Watch how God redeems every detail.

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