July 09, 2014

A Story or a Picture?

Isaiah 43:1-4

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you . . . .
—Isaiah 43:2


I’ll be honest: there are days when I’m not sure I want someone else to be my storyteller. I’m not sure I want my story to head through uncertainty while it slowly winds its way toward God’s happy ending. While it might be exciting for other people to see God weave their stories through adventure after adventure, I personally find that kind of suspense exhausting.

Instead of a story, I think I would prefer a nice picture. I think I would rather have a nice photograph or painting where nothing much happens. I can imagine a pleasant scene where I am enjoying beautiful weather in lovely surroundings. And the best part about this picture would be that it would present very few surprises. Mostly I’d just sit there, relaxing.

There are days when I think I’d rather feel that kind of safety than to actually experience God at work. Fortunately, God doesn’t usually grant me that request. Perhaps the same is true for you.

You see, we don’t shape our stories; they shape us. Every twist and turn in your narrative is a carefully arranged step in God’s process for shaping you into the image of Christ, for helping you become the person God has called you to be. God doesn’t lead us into our life stories because those adventures will be easy. He leads us into them because they will be good.

How about you . . . are you willing to let God lead you?

Lord, lead us into stories that will help shape us into your image. Amen.

About the author — Ron Vanderwell

Ron Vanderwell recently became the senior pastor of New Life Church in New Lenox, Illinois. He has been a pastor for 22 years, serving as a church planter for the previous 12 years at The Gathering in Sacramento, California, and before that as a pastor in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ron and his wife, Deb, have three sons: John, Adam, and Jake. Ron shares more of his reflections on “squinting” for God in his blog at www.squintforgod.com.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!