July 08, 2014

Suspense in God’s Story

Romans 8:18-25

The creation waits in eager expectation . . . .
—Romans 8:19


As a boy, I didn’t like scary stories. I’d act brave, but whenever a TV show would become suspenseful, I’d suddenly remember something in another room that needed my attention. I didn’t really like nervous or scary; I liked happy a lot better. 

As you and I discover the Bible’s story, we often find that we don’t really like suspense either. The Bible’s story leads us from Eden into a world where everything starts to hurt: our work feels futile, our marriages and families cause us pain. We quickly find ourselves stuck in a world that doesn’t feel right. Somebody needs to do something, right?

Donald Miller, author of A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, describes his experience with a film crew making a docu­men­tary of his life. They grew frustrated filming scenes from his comfortable life. Eventually they confronted him: his life made for a boring story. His initial success as a writer had allowed him to withdraw from most of life’s problems, robbing him of the chance to experience any real suspense. That confrontation led him into a less comfortable but far more significant life.

Most of the time, instead of challenges and stresses, I’d ­rather have my story just stop for a while. But that would soon get boring, and I’d miss out on more significant experiences.

If God wanted to write a really good story in your life, would you let him?

Lord, thank you for ignoring our pleas for comfort. Lead us instead into stories that will prove important someday. 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!