Don’t you love a great story? The best stories – at least to me – have a fair maiden, a swashbuckling hero, and, of course, an evil villain. What makes it interesting? It’s the conflict between those characters. Without conflict, there is no story. The writer lets the characters battle through their struggles, knowing that the “happily ever after” will ultimately arrive. It’s all part of the plot.
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)
Jesus is the Author of our life story. He has it intricately plotted from birth to death – with all the adventures and struggles between. We dream of living a “perfect” life, but what a boring story that would be! Instead, life is so much messier than we want it to be. We lose our health, our loved ones, our money and, sometimes, even our hope. Often, we question how a loving God could let tragedies happen.
Joseph probably wondered about that, too. But God was writing Joseph’s story and we, as the reader, can see it all come together. Joseph had to be sold as a slave so he could be accused and go to prison, where he’d meet someone who’d connect him with Pharaoh. Without experiencing all those hard times, he wouldn’t have been able to save his family. God, the Author, knew the plot.
God allowed hard times to come to women in the Bible, so He could ultimately get the glory:
- The widow of Nain’s son had to die so Jesus could raise him.
- The widow had to be almost out of flour, so she could experience God’s miraculous provision.
- Famine had to come, and Ruth’s husband had to die, so she could ultimately become an ancestor of Jesus.
When our lives are hard, why not embrace His plan? How much better to trust that our loving “Author” will also be the “Finisher” of our faith’s story? Why not pray for peace in the middle of the storms, knowing He’s right beside us? After all, He also lived His own story as a man, and His life on earth was also full of challenges.
“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” (Isaiah 53:3)
Remember that, without death, there is no resurrection. Without darkness, the light is meaningless. It’s the contrast that creates the blessing.
When we trust the Author, we’ll know that, no matter what happens between our “once upon a time” and our “happily ever after,” it will be a beautiful story that will ultimately bring glory to the Author of it all.