“My days were shaped before one came to be.” Psalm 139:16
Are you like me and try to predict the end of the story as you read a book or as you watch a movie? Anticipation builds as you read or watch and you have a hunch of what is going to happen. How do you feel when the author surprises you with the ending? Catches you off guard – you were not expecting it to end the way it does?
When I look at my life, past, present and future, I often think of it as a story. My past is written, my present is being written as I type, and my future is yet to be written. But is that really so? Or is my present and my future already written? Often I find myself, not only trying to predict the future in my story but also to force it the way I want it to be, the way I think is best for my happiness and well being. And often, the author of my story, God, surprises me with the outcome.
Many years ago, I was struggling in my marriage. There were lots of things that were not healthy in my marriage. In my mind, I could save it. If I was submissive and agreed to everything, things would be ok. That ended up being momentary fixes. Then I thought, well if we seek counseling that will help, or if I reach out to these people, they could influence the situation and all will work out. After exhausting all my humanly possible solutions that I thought would make the marriage work, I prayed to God asking him to fix it all, fix the disorders so that our marriage could be healthy and happy for our family. The disorders were fixed. They were removed when it became clear to me how unhealthy it was. This was definitely not the outcome I was expecting in my story. It wasn’t the ending I thought was best at first, nor what I was trying to create. It was the story that God created.
I know this is God’s story. The fruits in my spiritual life were abundant and glorious from the pain and the struggles of my marriage. I often look back at this time period in my life and I can see God’s hands swooping down and picking me up. I can still feel the love of Jesus as I rested in his presence. There were things that happened that some may call a coincidence but I call the pages of my story, hand written and authored by a loving Father. When I hear the song “My Story” by Big Daddy Weave, I hear my life through the lyrics. “You would hear Hope that wouldn’t let go… You would hear Love that never gave up… You would hear Life, but it wasn’t mine… If I should speak then let it be of the grace that is greater than all my sin, of when justice was served and where mercy wins, of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in. Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him.”
Sometimes it takes us a while to realize that we aren’t the author of our story but God is. He has already written our story and it sits in his divine library. We try to be the editors all the time and when we do things get all out of sorts. If we just trust that our story needs no editing, it would be an easy read with unending joy and happiness as each page turns. Today as you struggle, think of it as an adventure or a climax in your story that has the best ending. The author always knows the best ending for his story. And so does your Father, the author of your story.