God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him. Psalm 18:24 (MSG)
Things Happen – The Storyteller Series – Part 6
Lately, I’ve been thinking and praying about the darkness in my life, and the darkness all around me: in the lives of those I love, in my street, in my town, in my country, in my government, in the global economy, in the world… (yeah… my thoughts have been pretty serious of late!)
There’s a tension between good and evil that we live within. A thousand beautiful things happen every day. And then a thousand more evil, horrendous, unspeakable things happen every day.
Every single day.
And it seems that goodness and evilness are non-discriminatory. Good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people and everything in between. There is no formula to follow to avoid one and hold onto the other. It’s all included in the crazy mix of life that we all live and share.
Then Jesus enters the story. In fact, Christ has always been a part of the story, we (humanity) just haven’t known where to find him.
We often relegate Jesus to being the solution to our sin problem. The light to our darkness. Which is true.
BUT, he is so much more than that.
In his book “Falling Upward,” Richard Rohr writes,
“The genius of the biblical revelation is that it refuses to deny the dark side of things, but forgives failure and integrates [INTEGRATES] falling to achieve its only promised wholeness… it gives us permission and even direction to take conscious ownership of our own story at every level, every part of life and experience. God will use all of this material, even the negative parts, to bring us to life and love.”
Jesus “owned” our sins on the cross, so that we could own them too. We don't have to be crushed under their weight but, by grace, we can rise from them and our past (the things that we have done and the things that have happened to us) into new life. A life re-written. A resurrection.
Jesus doesn’t “rub out” our past, the cross doesn’t separate us from our actions, obliterating them into thin air as if they never happened. It includes them, draws them close and purifies them. The stuff that I've done and the stuff that's happened to me is still a part of my story. The Christ turns their destructive nature around and into something that can be used for our good and the good of others. Like a re-write. It doesn’t delete the story, it just makes it clearer, more purposeful, more beautiful and more whole.
Our weaknesses become our strengths with his gentle edits, and what was designed to take us out serves us up a full plate of hope as we open the book of our hearts to Jesus and he writes grace, grace, grace upon each page and into the world around us.
David experienced this; a re-writing and re-calibrating relationship with the Divine. God didn’t excuse David’s sins and his past. The shepherd-made-king still had to endure the many consequences of the things he did. BUT, together (David and God) they re-wrote his heart… his decisions, longings, pains and triumphs. And this is why we love David. Not because he is the epitome of hero – perfect, strong and gleaming. We love him because he gives us hope that a broken and twisted man – one who knew what is was to worship and write before the living God, who fought for freedom, who committed the gravest of sins, experienced the heartbreak of terrible choices, had a complicated and crazy family, a man of many vices and virtues – could still be called a man after God’s own heart.
God must have one heck of a pen.
“God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him. When I got my act together, he gave me a fresh start. Now I’m alert to God’s ways; I don’t take God for granted. Every day I review the ways he works; I try not to miss a trick. I feel put back together, and I’m watching my step. God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.” Psalm 18:20-24.
Doesn't an edit sound better than a rewrite? What are your thoughts? Leave us a comment below.
Go to Part 7 – His Story »