July 10, 2014

Who Is My Storyteller?

Psalm 139:1-4, 15-16

All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
—Psalm 139:16


Sometimes I think I would be a lot more comfortable if I could write my own story. After all, I’ve got some pretty good ideas for my life. For instance, I can picture a story in which I am rich, successful, and famous.

But my life already has a storyteller—and it’s not me. God is my author, and he wants me to trust him for the best possible story line.

That’s where things get tricky. If you’re like me, we often have a hard time with the idea of trusting God as our storyteller. We think it would be easier if God would simply propose chapters for us to consider. But God doesn’t look for our approval. He unveils chapters that often catch us completely by surprise. My story has had chapters like “How Deep Fear Helped Me Learn to Pray Fervently” and  “Disappointments Change My Priorities for My Life.” I would never have given my approval to chapters like those, but my Storyteller didn’t ask me. Instead he has been using chapters like those to shape me into his image.

I’m now getting far enough into my own particular story to see a bit of what God is up to. If I made my own story line, I probably would have become a spoiled brat, sulking whenever I didn’t get my way. Instead, God has been helping me discover the joy and peace that comes through following Jesus.

God, I know you are writing my story. Help me see more of what you are up to, and help me look forward to the next chapter. 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.

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