I’m an avid reader, and, when I find an author that I like, I will read everything they’ve ever written. I love that once I know what an author is like I can relax into their writing. I begin to learn their style: how they resolve conflicts, what their goals are for their characters, their themes and their messages. When I know what to expect, it makes it that much easier to enjoy.
Recently I was reading a book with a very intense conflict that was introduced fairly early on in the story. Because I had invested so much emotionally in the characters, I frequently caught myself praying for them (yes, I’m ridiculous). I was so scared for these characters because I couldn’t see how they could avoid this huge pitfall coming towards them. It was seriously stressing me out!
At one point in my reading, I had to stop and remind myself that I knew this author and read her other books and knew how she resolved conflict. I could trust her to handle these characters in a meaningful way, so that even if the feared tragedy occurs, there will be a redemptive element that would help make sense of it. And I was not disappointed–it was not resolved in the way that I thought it would be resolved, but it was a good ending, and it was consistent with how she had been developing the story line (in fact, the hint of how she would resolve it was in the first chapter!).
It occurred to me one day that so much of our life is about trusting the author. Our lives are a story too–a story with an author. The amazing thing about our lives is that we get to know our author. We can even learn His style in the lives of real men and women in the Bible. We learn how he handles conflict, how he develops his characters, and what his overall message is. When we learn to trust the way He works then we aren’t so afraid of what might happen next.
When we look at the Bible and the way God interacts with people, we see over and over again God encouraging His people to trust Him. Trust Him when it’s hard. Trust Him when it hurts. Trust Him when it costs you. Trust Him when what He’s doing makes no sense whatsoever.
All we need to do is see how God has worked in the past to help us understand what He’s doing now. We see Him challenge Abraham to do the impossible (offer up his child), but then see God do the unexpected (provide the sacrifice). We see God tell Joshua to do the ridiculous (march around Jericho for six days), but then see God do the miraculous (the walls fall down and an insurmountable enemy is made vulnerable). We see God tell Gideon to give up what is needed (a large army to fight an even larger army), but then see God do the amazing (defeat the army from within).
So what is God doing in our lives? Is He asking you do something impossible, ridiculous, or to give up something you seem to need? Is He maybe telling you to wait while He works out details you cannot yet imagine? The response to all of these is simply to trust Him and believe that His plan is best. When our time here is done, I hope we will get to step back and see the skillful weaving of God’s greatest story, of which our lives play a part. Because, after all, the stories that we remember, the stories that thrill us, are the ones where the most impossible situations are faced, but then are resolved in amazing ways. And the cool thing is we get to be a part of that.