Saturday, February 25, 2023

A Good Story

Once upon a time…I loved a girl and I asked her out…she said no… months later she finally said yes and a couple of years later we got married anyway.  That is a true story and a good story!

Everyone loves a good story, especially when the odds are stacked against the protagonist and yet you see that person, often the underdog, come out on top and encountering a wonderful end to the story.  I think that this is what makes a work of fiction, such as The Lord of the Rings so enticing and true stories like Louie Zamperini’s WWII survival story so inspiring.  To see Frodo Baggins faced against all of the evils that Mordor has to offer and still find victory in the cracks of mount doom or Louie Zamperini’s incredible survival of over 40 days at sea and years in Japanese concentration camps, to not only survive, but to find a “good ending” years after the war.

God is writing a good story in everyone who believes.  This is what Romans 8:28 is really hitting at.  To those that love God, He is writing a good story.  Yet, in every good story, there are chapters of difficulty.  Some of my chapters are incredible, in which my marriage, the birth of my children and killing a grouse with my bare hands are all included.  Many other chapters are challenging and difficult to endure.  These are the chapters where I find myself as an exhausted parent wondering if I am doing anything right…or is it normal for a 3 year old boy to chase his sister around the house with a “dangerous knife.” These are the chapters where I get angry over spilt milk.  I don’t know who coined the term, “There is no use crying over spilled milk,” but they are wrong…I cry every time milk is spilled or eggs are cracked and wasted. 

Good chapters may include promotions, restored relationships or winning tickets to the World Series.  Bad chapters could be found in the death of a loved one, a dreadful diagnosis or a depression that you just can’t seem to climb out of.  The lists of either are endless. 

Yet, in the end, we will find an incredibly wonderful chapter.  We will see a chapter that is better than the destruction of the One Ring, (in the Lord of the Rings), or the forgiveness that Zamperini offers to the Bird, (his perpetual torturer in the Japanese labor camps).  At the end of God’s good story we will find the last chapter, which happens to be the best chapter ever written.  It is in these last lines of the story were we find the redemption of mankind become complete and the restoration of the earth take place.  We find a New Heaven and a New Earth being created for those who have said yes to the story of God and yes to the gift of forgiveness and righteousness found only in Jesus.  Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians reveal a good story and a good ending that is promised to all who believe, even though their story contains difficult chapters (i.e. Acts 17:1-9).

May we come to embrace God’s good story…His Gospel…and trust Him to write His story within the chapters of our lives. 

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