Who Will You Let Tell You Your Own Story?

When the year is new but it’s the same old you walking into it,

surrounded by the identical supporting cast from last year and a plot that feels like an under-budget rehash of material you know too well,

When your mood flits between grateful and glum depending on the stories flashing past in your Facebook news feed

(grateful for your health after a friend’s cancer diagnosis, passed over after a colleague wins an award, envious of a neighbor’s promotion, thankful your children are near when another’s goes missing) as you ride the rails of the comparison roller coaster (He loves me, He answers my prayers not.)

When you’re only half-joking that you’re taking a sick day out of disappointment for not winning the Powerball, which makes you feel guilty for sincerely wanting all that money, which makes no sense because you didn’t play the lottery since it’s gambling and if God wanted you to be a billionaire He probably wouldn’t deliver it through the Powerball,

which makes you remember your goal of cultivating true contentment with what you have,

which you could do if you hadn’t just read that blog post about how people don’t have because they don’t ask, or pray long enough or hard enough, or catch onto God’s vision for them, or ask a big God for big things, or pray believing for the thousands of cattle on God’s hills, or fast and march around your prayers like Jericho, or get enough other people to pray, too,

I mean, perfectly respectable looking Christians are telling you it’s practically a billboard of your pathetic faith that you drive an old car and wonder where the money for the electric bill will come from if the temperature continues to drop, so which way is God’s way – praying big or fostering contentment with little?

Was there some class on pure, uncomplicated faith that other people attended but you missed?

Then, the reading in your morning devotions (which you’re doing after dinner) is all about not worrying about tomorrow, what you’ll eat or drink or use to power your laptop, which reminds you that you’re a terrible Christian even after all these years and all this trying because that’s exactly what you were just doing.

That idea (the terrible Christian thing) gets reinforced when you watch a news video about a young couple who started an earth-friendly business that also helps empower people in poorer countries to create their own businesses.

Now, you’re not only a terrible Christian; you’re also an under-achieving believer and you turn to ask your husband if the two of you should consider some greater venture in Jesus’ name, but he dozed off watching the news – the six o’clock news – so then you think the least you can do is buy some of their product, but you remember your resolve to spend less so, there’s not even that.

And now, you notice the news report that North Korea says they have the bomb and can wipe America off the planet, so you remember last year’s resolution to memorize more Scripture just in case “they” come and take away all the Bibles, but you stink at memorizing, so six verses into John 15 you bailed on the effort.

Maybe you should start again. Maybe you should have started two weeks ago. How angry is North Korea?

And just when you thought you couldn’t feel like a worse Jesus-follower, you see the story about the Canadian pastor kept in solitaire digging ditches all day in a North Korean labor camp. He risked telling North Koreans about Jesus while you pray for opportunities to witness at work but secretly hope they never come because you’re so tongue-tied about your faith.

When suddenly the Holy Spirit says, “Enough! Get outside and look at the stars.”

The air is crisp. The night sky is clear, glittering with Orion and his compatriots. Here, in the dark, you exhale.

You think about Abraham under the stars and Jacob dreaming of a staircase to heaven, of Paul shipwrecked on an island looking at the night sky, and childless Sarah on a cool desert night. And the same God sees you, knows your name, writes your story.

You can almost hear Him speak to you what He may have spoken to them:

This is your life. These are your times. I am your God. Settle down and press into that truth.

They got lost sometimes. Confused. They felt small and wondered where God’s great promise was. God never lost sight of them even when they lost sight of Him.

God whispers, “Who are you going to let tell you your story? Your mood? The enemy? Facebook? People who only see you in the now? You in your own worst moments? Or Me, the Author and Perfecter of your faith?”

God writes your story. He is such a Master Storyteller that He’ll even weave the moments of confusion and doubt into the tale in a way that ultimately testifies to redemption and saving grace.

So, when the year is new but it’s the same old you walking into it, stand under the stars and remember that God lives outside of time. Give Him every frustration, doubt, fear, failure, worry, and stumbling step.

Then watch the God of Abraham, Sarah, of Jacob and Paul, tell a story of adventure, of near disaster averted by patient endurance and a creative, redemptive God who never fails, with your life.

Who are you going to let tell you your story?

What do you call a Christian on their worst, lowest, most lost day?

A Child of the Most High God, Redeemed by the Blood of Jesus, Saved for Good Works, Wholly Loved, Full of Eternal Life and Destined for Glory, Friend of God.

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12 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. My heart skipped a beat as I read this. I don’t care that heartbeat skipping is a cliche. It really did. I needed it. Thanks for writing. 🙂

  2. Doris says:

    Amen!! Thank you. :0)

  3. Joyce says:

    Well that made me cry. Thank you, Lori. Needed that.

  4. Nona says:

    Love you, Lori!!

    We are blessed to have you!

    Shalom!

  5. Bruce says:

    Great post my dear friend. So many common thoughts…of course I loved the car one (I’m driving a minivan again!).
    And I’m sure the “not living up to the big vision/expectations other people had for your life” was in there somewhere! Oh the shoulda/coulda/woulda’s weigh me down at times, and those sins from 30, 40, 50 years ago that still come back to humble me (not always a bad thing). Yikes!

  6. Linda Koch says:

    Your blogs almost always touch my heart so deeply. I am blessed by them, encouraged by them, challenged by them. I share them with family and friends, with my Sunday school class. God has given you such an amazing ability to communicate His truth in such an impacting way. Thank you.

  7. Karen Walker says:

    Thank you.

  8. Thank you, again, for listening to The Beloved Spirit and sharing what He’s showed you!

    I was struggling, tonight, and not because of the fantasy world of the Internet. For many melodramatic reasons (I won’t bore you with), I am feeling very, very isolated, yet closer to our LORD than ever before in the 30+ years since He won my heart and soul. When He reached out to me through what you wrote and whispered that He’s still there loving me, it brought me great comfort.

    You know, when something we share brings a soul to focus on our Father God, again, I have no doubt that He is pleased.

    Well done, Sister! <3

  9. Tammy says:

    Wow. Just. Wow. You nailed me and probably a million other Christians with this one. Thank you!

  10. Nancy Mosher says:

    Thank you Lori for these words of encouragement . Here I was just making myself sick over all the things I should be doing, could be doing , can’ find the time to do and at the same time trying to find rest in the Lord . God’s timing is always perfect !!

  11. Thanks for pulling my eyes upward on this cloudy day.

  12. Jill says:

    I subscribe to numerous wonderful blogs that overflow my inbox. Lately, I haven’t been taking the time to read them. They have continued to pile up and I have had to delete most of them, knowing that I will never be able to catch up on all of that reading.
    BUT, tonight, I was compelled to read this one. It was as if a Great Source had a message of love for me, and led me right into it.
    Oh, my heart…
    Thank you, dear one, for getting me back into my story.