Living the Story

I am taking a break from blogging until after Christmas.  I will post one of favorite blogs from the past each day.  Enjoy.  May God's Christmas blessings fill you with joy and peace. “Tells us a story, Jeedoo!”I have 4 wonderful grandchildren--a grandgirl and 3 little grandboys.  When I am with them, one of the first things they ask for is a story.  Our stories usually start with a true event, but then they might go anywhere.  We develop them together, often using hand puppets—a shark, a lion, an alligator--as characters.  Our stories are full of adventure, conflict, suspense and heroes, but they are never love stories.Our God is the master storyteller.  In fact His entire book—the Bible—is a story full of adventures, conflict, suspense and heroes.  And it is definitely a love story!  It is the saga of His amazing love for you and me and His relentless pursuit of relationship and reconciliation with us.Here is a truly remarkable fact.  Just as my grandkids enter into the stories I tell, so God has invited us into His story.  In fact, He made us each with a particular part in His story.  Ephesians 2:10:  “We are His handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for good works He has already prepared for us.”He says you are a work of art, a masterpiece.   When He made you,  He placed you in the perfect setting, gave you the desired appearance, abilities, temperament, gifts, strengths, and yes, weaknesses.When you were born He said “Look at you!  You are just what I had in mind—just right for your place in My story.“I have a great storyline already planned.  There will be adventure and fun and accomplishment and great purpose.  We will develop and grow your character, which may not be so comfortable.  Of course, suspense and conflict are required—this is an excellent story.  And you are the hero--as you contribute your life and action and story to my great endeavor."Surely on your journey God has whispered—or shouted—into your ear about the story He desires for you.  He has made you aware of needs and opportunities.  He has invited you into His love story of redemption and reconciliation.  He reminds you that you were made for a purpose.Sometimes after I tell a story to my grandkids, one of them will say, “That wasn’t a good story, Jeedoo.  It was too small.”I think too often we settle for too small a story.  God loves the whole world.  He is seeking all the lost.  He cares about the pain and abuse and oppression so many live in.  He looks on them with deep compassion.And He says to you, to me, "Come, my child.  Let me show you the story I have for you.  It is so much bigger, so much more meaningful than anything you have ever asked or imagined.  You will touch hearts and minds and change lives for today—and for eternity.”I don’t want to settle for a small story.  I want to go for the big story God is writing for me.What about you?  Is your story too small?  Is God unfolding a new chapter in your life—for your role in His love story? Will you say, "Yes, Lord"?C2011 Judy Douglass