Jesus is the Author of my story
Last Sunday we had the privilege of celebrating the story of the 5 martyrs in Ecuador who opened the door for the Waorani people to find faith.
One of the things that Jamie Saint shared really got me as I struggle with trying to edit God’s story.
All of a sudden it became clear to me that I did not like what God wrote in my last chapter with Jim and so I took the pen out of his hand, and have refused to read or live out any other chapters he might write in my life, however redemptive that might be.
God does not need me to edit anything. I know that, but it does not change the fact that I have decided I don’t like what He is writing so I have tuned out of allowing him to write any other chapters for me. That is crazy! Once again, I am moved to humility as I yield my editing rights in submission to the Author and finisher of my faith.
When I was a child and used to have bad dreams, one thing I was encouraged to do was to re-dream the dream with a different ending that was happier and safer. I got pretty good at it. I realized that I have mentally been doing that with Jim’s story for the past 6 years! I didn’t like the last chapter that God, as the author wrote, so I have taken on the role of editor and tried to rewrite God’s story, or at least the last chapter with my sweet husband. I go through a whole series of mental gymnastics to put whatever spin helps me to feel better.
I acknowledge that if it was up to me I would have written some chapters differently. My husband would not have died of brain cancer. I would not be left alone to minister and parent, etc. But I also acknowledge that my comfort pales in comparison to the impact Jim had, and continues to have. Difficult trials are full of opportunities for God to show and create something meaningful and redemptive and grace-filled. The key is to keep my hands off God’s inkwell and to allow the Author to have creative license while, at the same time, living with a thankful heart and avoiding a root of bitterness to make my heart harden.
Eph. 3:20 says, “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.” And CS Lewis stated that if we think that this life is intended primarily for our comfort and happiness we will find it quite intolerable. If we think of it as a learning and training ground it becomes much easier to accept. Every day I am learning to put down the pen and stop trying to edit. Instead I am trying to lean in and trust. Faith means believing in advance what only makes sense in reverse. I want Him to have control, so I am daily trying to trust in spite of my fears, my selfishness and my willfulness.
My favorite books are full of highlights and dog-eared pages because those are my favorite parts. Similarly, I am consciously trying to dog-ear my favorite parts of my life so that I can revisit those moments later. I am so grateful that the Author of this story is my friend and can be trusted. He is writing a bigger story that builds my hope that my story will have a happy ending where I will live happily ever after. Letting God hold the pen……