A Great Story in the Making
David was a shepherd boy. Moses was a murderer. Matthew was a tax collector. Paul was a self-righteous persecutor of Christians. The common thread? God had a compelling story in mind for each of them.
Whether you realize it or not, you know people like that wild cast of characters I mentioned above. You know people who were addicts, people who were abusive, people who were liars and thieves. The common thread?
The word “were.”
Once you start paying attention, you come to believe that this is the way God works. Paul believed as much when he wrote: “For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how I intensely persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it” (Galatians 1:13). That was how his story began, but he goes on to say in verses 15 and 16 that God “called me by his grace” and “was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles.” The old path gives way to the new path. A persecutor of the church becomes a prolific missionary. These startling transformations are the hallmarks of God’s authorship.
I think we sometimes have a hard time recognizing or believing all of this because we don’t work that way. We prefer to peg people with tragically flat trajectories. What are your current skills and struggles? I bet you’re pretty much stuck there, friend. Here’s what I mean: Watch an NFL quarterback reach the ripe old age of 27 without winning a playoff game and listen to the pundits start to crow: “He’ll never win the big one!” Watch a teenager disappoint her parents enough and they’ll declare, “You’ll never amount to anything!”
It’s easier for us to extrapolate people’s struggles than to envision their God-given potential realized. Call it a lack of grace, a lack of perspective, heck, call it a lack of imagination. The fact is we often fail to see what God sees in a flawed human being—a great story in the making.
A lyric we all know fairly well sums it up nicely: “I once was lost, but now I’m found/Was blind, but now I see.” Those are the words of John Newton, a man whose life featured a disgraceful tenure in the Royal Navy, a stint as a slave in West Africa, and a turn as an officer on a slave ship. His circumstances are different from yours and mine, but the pattern he articulated is the same—lost then found.
When God rewrites our stories, he makes us into storytellers. Like Paul and John Newton and the rest of the great cloud of witnesses, each of us was this and now we’re that.
I once was lost/legalistic/addicted/angry/fatherless/hopeless. But the story doesn’t end there.
I’m a child of a loving Father. What a story. What a rewrite. What a God.
Originally posted on September 18, 2011
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost 10 Of The Biggest Lies Students Hear Before They Get To College.
- Brian Dodd published the blogpost 40 Leadership Quotes And Lessons From When The Game Stands Tall.
- Eric Arch just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Jim McNeely published the blogpost Christ at the Center of Confidence: 1 John 4:13-21.
- DrDebi Smith published the blogpost 3 Things You Can Do When the Man You Love Gets Off Track.
- Nicole Webb published the blogpost re: pray for peace, then work for it with all your might.
- Marie Osborne published the blogpost Redeem Your Feed: 3 Positive Ways Christians Can Use Social Media.
- Lori Fogleman published the blogpost No. 10 Baylor football opens 2014 with highest preseason ranking since 1957.
- Michael Ernest published the blogpost What critics are saying about Amy Grants remix project.
- Heather Riggleman published the blogpost Quinoa & Black Beans with Butternut Squash – A perfect fall recipe.
- Bronwyn Lea published the blogpost When you say I can’t wear a bikini, this is what you’re also saying… .
- Kelley Mathews published the article Great Programs + Zero Personal Contact = Swing and a Miss!.
- Matt Perman published the blogpost Millennials: Bringing Back Entrepreneurship in America.
- Kelley Mathews published the article 'Ordinary Miracles: Awakening to the Holy Work of Parenting' [Review].
- Janet Ridgeway published the blogpost High School and Middle School, Oh My! – Back To School 2014.
- Ashley Howland published the blogpost The scoop on salt: You’re probably eating too much.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Why Peer-To-Peer Selling Is Taking Off And What Companies Can Learn From It.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost New Toyota Minivan Will Make It Easier For Drivers To Yell At Their Kids.
- Nils Smith published the blogpost Vemory automagically finds and recreates your best memories.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost What You Should Know About Gen Z And Branded Video.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Consumerism: Ways Brands Can Harness The Wonderful Power Of Teens.
- Dave Dunham published the blogpost Christian Reflections on Lust, Modesty, and Beauty (Part 7): Lust and Responsibility.
- solomon david published the blogpost Magento Fashion Template Development Services From Leading Company India.
- Steve Perky published the blogpost How Will Google’s “Classroom” Change Discipleship? [Video].
- Steve Perky published the blogpost Church’s Website – Content to Connection [Snippet].
- Steve Perky published the blogpost Our modern idea of generations is overrated [Quote].
- Steve Perky published the blogpost Simple Church: Returning to God’s Process for Making Disciples [Book].
- Steve Perky published the blogpost Create Crossword Puzzles to Disciple Children [Video].
- Steve Perky published the blogpost The New .CHURCH Domain Name: Why It Matters To Your Church.
- Michael Ernest published the blogpost Jars of Clay celebrates career milestone with ’20′.
- Wayne Stiles published the blogpost Quote by Brad Gray on God’s desires for our failures. [Quote].
- andrea castrillon just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- solomon david published the blogpost How to Choose Best Mobile OS for First Gaming Apps.
- Larry Carter published the blogpost Have You Ever Cut Your Nose Off To Spite Your Face?.