Tuesday, August 9, 2016
I have written several stories. Each story is a little different but they all have the same principle elements. Each story has a little drama, romance, adventure and a little fantasy. But the two things that they never have are overwhelming conflict in the middle of the story and an ending (I rarely finish my stories). I don't like that part in the narrative where conflict erupts. That moment where it's all about to come crashing down. I can't bare to watch as the heroes struggle. Maybe its because in real life the struggle has already been going on from the beginning. It's out of place when conflict appears halfway through a story. When I watch it play out before my very eyes I feel helpless in the hands of the destruction that is in front of me. Maybe I'm afraid that the hero will not be able to rise again if they fall even one more time.
I see plenty of people drowning every day in a sea of doubt, depression and hopelessness and there are not enough life preservers to go around. So then why haven't I drown, what makes my story so different? I realize that not in spite of, but because of, these rough waters I learn how to swim for my survival, and I became strong. Strong enough in fact to be the life preserver for others. You see I may not like the sea of great conflict but in that conflict I develop a strength that is only produced by my determination to rise out of the waters. It is also the only way I could have found so many more like me, tossed and turned by each relentless wave. I found my shore. I found my refuge and I could let fear tell me not to go back in for the countless others drowning. I could try to flag them over or yell encouraging words. but they need a savior who will go in after them, someone who knows the waters. That is why my Savior allowed me to become so strong by my trials and by the treading of difficult water as I waited for my salvation. He didn't allow my circumstances to go on beyond my comfort so I could become hardened by struggle but so that I would become strong enough to fight for more than just myself. Now inside of me is a greater capacity for love. But also a greater responsibility to act on the behalf of those who will not make it to the shore without a hero.
The Olympics call the qualifying preliminaries to get to the games The Olympic Trials. The phrase that comes to mind in the world of sports and fitness is "No Pain, No Gain." if you want to be the best at something you need to go past the point of comfort and even past the point of what you think is possible. How differently could we be living if we saw our trials as a qualifier for greatness? We are created to be champions and overcomers and to use our trails not as stumbling blocks but as training tools on the way to victory.
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
A hero is forged in the fire of adversity, a hero is someone who does not waste the trials of life on self pity and shame but on an awareness that each of us was made for something so much greater than merely the comfort of a good life. Maybe the reason I cant finish my books is because there is no ending. How do you write a story about eternity? A long time ago I gave God the pen to my life and I said, "Write! Write me a story so fantastic it will change the world." Who am I to argue with an author who is perfect in all of His ways, who sees the plot unfolding and the resolution to my conflict far clearer than I ever could. He has not created a character in this whole universe that he can not reach. We think we want an easy happy ending but if it isn't earned through overcoming some great obstacle somehow it just seems a little fake and a little less appreciated. We need to trust that God knows how it ends. And He is a good Author.
He writes light out of darkness, from the very beginning he said, "Let there be Light!!!" Its time to take the pen away from the enemy of darkness and let God create light out of our darkest trials. Many
nightmares have made it hard to want to dream again. The world has become polluted with a shadow of helplessness. But all shadows are dispelled when the purest of light shines. God made us the light of the world. Through the power of His one and only Son, we shine. All darkness was made subject to the power of light from the very beginning and when Jesus walked on earth, He transferred the right of that light through the sacrifice of His life. But what we do with our light is everything!
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
We cannot expel darkness if we never venture into the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Remember we will fear no evil for God leads us through. One light in the dark is seen but how much more hopeful when we bring our light together with one purpose. When we shine together the shadows have no where to hide. Let us not waste the night for we are brightest when it is bleakest. Let us not waste all the strength that we have gained by fighting in the stormy water. God has brought us to shore but we are strong enough to go back in for others. Our story is being written and if we do not allow the conflict to shape us we cannot become the hero He is creating us to be. God wrote me into existence, to be a hero. When conflict arises I will not cower in fear but shout Hallelujah for I know I got the role in His master plan. And through my suffering thousands will know my name but Millions more will know His; the Author and Perfecter of our Faith.
For those still on the shore wondering if its worth it to risk it all on Jesus, to those who are afraid that any more conflict might not shape them but destroy them. Remember that Faith is all about uncertainty but we have hope and trust in a God who always comes through bigger and bigger every time we place our faith in Him. And remember this when being tormented by the lies of the enemy: The Devil only knows what has been written. He knows our past but he does not get the privilege of knowing our future. Our future is yet unwritten. We don't always get to choose the trails we go through but we do get to choose who we go through it with. We are not alone. He walked through darkness; through the Valley of the Shadow, and still chooses to come back and walk it again and again with us so that His light can illuminate the path before us. Will we embark on a journey to do the same for others? That is the story that is still unwritten.