What if my story, my relationship with God, my thoughts, my actions were recorded in a well-read book that people would read over and over for thousands of years?
This is what I asked myself when I was studying the book of First Samuel for my adult Sunday School Bible lesson.
Just before I posed that question to myself, I had just found myself asking aloud as I read in chapter 15, “Saul! What are you doing?! Why didn’t you obey God’s command all the way??? He was giving you a second chance!!!”
That’s when my first question above came crashing in.
It’s a sobering question.
You see, I can “yell” a question at Saul because I’m holding the entire picture in my hand. I see how the story ends. I see God’s plan for him. I see God giving him a second chance at redemption. I am the reader of Saul’s story, and I can see exactly where his life starts to change with the choices he makes.
What would the reader of my hypothetical story be yelling at me? The reader would have my whole life story in front of them. I can only imagine the kinds of questions the reader would have for me at different points in my life. I know that there would be extremely frustrating parts of my story that would make the reader want to pull their hair out.
But, I don’t have a hypothetical reader to ponder about…I have something better. I have a relationship with the author of my story. And the amazing thing is, He actually desires this relationship with me. God knows every single part of my story because He wrote it.
I had someone ask me, “If God already knows every move, every decision that you are going to make, if He already knows where you will spend eternity, what’s the point of talking to Him?”
At the time, I didn’t have a response. But now, I realize that I would ask this question back, “If God already knows everything about my life, why WOULDN’T I want to talk to Him?”
When I read God’s word and encounter the people that are described there, and see some of their struggles, I just want to push the pause button in time and go back to them and whisper in their ear, “God is doing this for something GOOD. Just trust in Him.”
Then I think of the hypothetical reader of my hypothetical story and how they would want to do the same for me. Then it is all so clear. God has the big picture. I have a small piece of the picture.
For this reason, I will trust.
For this reason, I will obey.
Even when my small picture doesn’t seem to make sense.
Because, what if my story IS being read?
What if it is being “read” in real time by others around me?
What will they see about how I trust?
What will they see about how I obey?
What will they know about my God?
Lord, I pray that when others see me, that they will see You. Humble me, so I can get myself out of the way for you to work. Father, forgive me when I put myself, my thoughts, my actions before Yours. Help me to walk step-by-step in the path You have forged for me. Thank you for authoring my story, but even more, thank you for the relationship we have. For You know, that I could not do this life on my own strength. I need You with every step I make and every breath I breathe, and I thank you for always being there. Lord, You are amazing. Please keep me continually amazed by You.