Hebrews 12:2-3 (NIV) Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
I used to love to write when I was a kid. I would sit and pour out a tale, mostly having to do with pioneers or modern-day elementary age girls (since that’s how old I was). I once even got one of my friends to do illustrations for a short story. I loved seeing the characters come to life, the story take shape and the conflict resolved in the end.
I guess that’s why I love the concept of God as the author of my life and faith story. It’s more than just that God has a plan for my life, because while plans are good it doesn’t sound as exciting as a story. Stories have highs and lows, adventures and times of rest and peacefulness and amazing characters. God has written a wonderful story for each of us according to His purposes for our lives.
But sometimes, like when I was a kid, I like to hold the pen for writing my own story. I look at the plot and think, “God, this really isn’t a good idea. I think I’ll take over the writing of this next chapter”. That’s not what God wants of me, though. He wants me to trust Him with the pen for my tale. That requires surrender on my part, knowing that the story He has for me is the very best story, one that honors and glorifies Him. He sees the very last chapter, while I only see what’s right in front of me. Maybe my story doesn’t include the epic adventures I might want it to right now, but each page holds a new truth I can learn about my Heavenly Father, and a new character that I need to get to know and love as the Father loves them. I am excited for what is ahead and thankful for what is behind.
Really and truly, the story isn’t about me anyway. It’s about God’s ultimate story for the whole world- people from every tribe, people group and language honoring and glorifying Him. It’s a redemption story and each of our stories get to be a page or chapter in the big volume of God’s work in the world. Now, that is exciting!
Hebrews 12:1-3 (The Message)
Do you see what this means- all those pioneers who blazed the way; all those veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running- and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed- that exhilarating finish in and with God- he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!