A Little FartherDo you hear much about lament in your local church?
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Knowing the Rest of Our Story
Excerpted from God’s Story, Your Story by Max Lucado
"God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again."
We need to know where we came from. Knowing connects us, links us, bonds us to something greater than we are. Knowing reminds us that we aren’t floating on isolated ponds but on a grand river.
That’s why God wants you to know his story. Framed photos hang in his house. Lively talks await you at his table. A scrapbook sits in his living room, brimming with stories. Stories about Bethlehem beginnings and manger miracles. Enemy warfare in the wilderness and fishermen friends in Galilee. The stumbles of Peter, the stubbornness of Paul. All a part of the story.
But they are all subplots to the central message: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). This is the headline of the story: God saves his people!
He casts his net over cities and individuals, princes and paupers, the Pontius Pilates of power and the Peters, Jameses, and Johns of the fishing villages. God takes on the whole mess of us and cleans us up.
This quest is God’s story. And we are a part of it! We can easily miss this. Life keeps pulling us down. The traffic, the troubles. The doctor visits and homework. Life is Ralls, Texas, and nothing more. No prelude
or sequel. Just tumbleweeds and dust and birth and death. And the randomness of it all. One week you are having a baby; the next you are having to move out of your house. “Good news, a bonus!” “Bad news, a blizzard.” Hectic. Haphazard. Playgrounds and cemeteries on the same block.
Is there a story line to this drama?
I asked the same question. About the same time I traveled to Ralls, I received another invitation. The local community theater group was staging the play The Wizard of Oz, and they needed some Munchkins. They recruited the children’s choir (in which I sang second soprano, thank you very much) to play the parts. We learned the songs and practiced the dances, but our choir director overlooked one detail. He never told us the story. He assumed we’d seen the movie. I hadn’t. As far as I knew, Toto was a chocolate candy, and the Yellow Brick Road was an avenue in Disneyland. I knew nothing of Kansas tornadoes or hot-air balloons. I didn’t know how the story started or ended, but I found myself in the middle of it.
Dress rehearsal nearly did me in. A house crashed out of the sky. A queen floated in a bubble. A long-nosed witch waved her stick. “I’ll get you, my pretty . . .” I was wide-eyed and wondering what I’d gotten myself into. Life in Munchkinland can be a scary thing.
Unless you’ve read the screenplay. Unless you know the final act. When you enter the stage equipped with a script, everything changes. You know that in the end the witch melts. So let her cackle all she wants; her days are numbered. In the end, good wins.
Everything changes when you know the rest of your story.