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You’re Part of a Good Story

I wrote last about parenting and sharing your story, but I want to continue this idea in a different vein.

If you sit to read a book or watch a movie, do you want to see one where the protagonist gets up in the morning, gets ready, heads to work, drives home, has some family time, goes to bed, lather, rinse, and repeat ad infinitum?

No, from the quietest stories of familial relationships to the action-packed global adventure, each carries an element of conflict, struggle, and friction in some way.

Good stories have conflict; the best stories contain redemption.

Sometimes our prayer and mental energy is so focused on comfort and ease that we miss opportunities. You get upset when things don’t go your way. You fail in some way and wallow there. You give up on a dream when it appears too impossible.

What if instead of looking at your circumstances with fear and anxiety, you trained yourself to say, “God, You’re going to make a great story out of this.” Now, it may be said through tears or through laughter, but adjusting our perspective can be liberating.

We say we believe that God works all things together for our good (Romans 8:28), but we get angry when things don’t line up immediately. We say we believe He is able to redeem any situation, but we rail against the situations that we see as unfair or too difficult.

Truth is, those difficulties expose what you truly believe. Are the beliefs in God’s goodness, faithfulness, and peace fully integrated into the core of your being? Guess what will show you whether it’s true or not.

Psalm 26 describes some bad goings on around the author. It can be so much easier to focus on all that and worry rather than seeing the story as unfinished, but the psalmist won’t back down.

But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity;
Redeem me, and be gracious to me.
My foot stands on a level place;
In the congregations I shall bless the Lord. –Psalm 26:11-12

Yep, this world is filled with chaos. Some of it directly affects you. Some of it is directly related to your own or others’ actions. If you have integrity (thoughts and beliefs fully integrated), you can stand in a level place when it appears the whole world is upside down. You can bless Him knowing His redemption wins out over destruction.

Tell yourself, “I’m part of a good story.”

And honestly, maybe it all doesn’t get worked out in a nice bow like a 30 minute sitcom. Maybe, God’s redemption is fully worked 5 years, 20 years, 50 years down the line–maybe even after you’ve gone to be with Jesus. It’s still a good story–still a redemption story.

I don’t want bad things to happen to you or me, but we live in a world where it’s going to happen to varying degrees. What will be your response?

Don’t continue to mourn the story that was written, rejoice that it’s not all written yet.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  –Philippians 4:4-7

What are your thoughts? Do you ever struggle with this (like me)? How do you remind yourself that God’s not done?

6 Comments

  1. Actually, it might help those of us who struggle with the bad times to remember that we are not just part of a good story, but a part of the Greatest Story Ever Told. When we think like that, how can we not trust God to set all to rights at the end?
    Blessings, Jason!

    • That’s true. We are never alone in our joys or our suffering. It’s a tapestry being weaved to demonstrate His glory and power forever and ever. Thanks Martha.

  2. Great thoughts. You’re right of course, pressure of any kind in any of us reveal our core. Acting only lasts so long. Everyone gets pressed… that’s when we find out what kind of grapes we’re made…

    • Yeah, hopefully not sour grapes. 🙂 Pressure in itself is not the enemy (I have to remind myself quite a bit). There is grace and peace for every situation if we’ll lean into it. Thanks Floyd.

  3. When I am going through tough times I just think that one day I will inspire somebody with my story. It will help them grow because they will know someone else has went through it. Thank you, Jason! God bless!

    • Yep, we get to overcome and that was never intended to be the end! We each have people in our lives who can and should benefit from God’s glory and victory revealed in our lives. Good stuff! Thanks Jaylynn.

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