I recently picked up a book my son was reading and flipped through it, noticing that a number of pages were folded down. Curious, I asked him why he did it.
“Because those are all my favorite parts,” he responded.
He’s a boy after my own heart because I do the same thing. I dog-ear and mark up my books so I can go back and reread my favorite parts. In some books though, there are no pages folded down. In those books, I found myself editing as I read, thinking of ways I would have written it differently, parts I would have added and scenes I would have deleted altogether.
Reading our Life’s Story
When it comes to the story of my own life, I have many dog-eared pages, times in my life that I like to reread. But I also have chapters I never want to revisit. I often wonder why the Author included those chapters and how they fit into the greater story. When I begin a new and difficult chapter in my life, I’m tempted to mark up the pages and send it back for revision. But I can’t, because the story has already been published (Psalm 1[39:16]). And unlike all the other books I read, I can’t skip ahead the pages of my life to see what happens next.
The difference between the Author of my story and any other book I read is that I know the Author personally. I know that he is good and I can trust him. And though I don’t know what’s going to happen in every forthcoming scene, I do know the past and what will happen ultimately. Scripture gives me the backstory and a vision of where we’re headed. I know how the world came to be, how sin came into the Garden, and what God has done about it — and has promised to do about it.
Over and over in the Old Testament, the Israelites were encouraged to follow the story God had written. They were to look back at their exodus from slavery, God’s provision in the wilderness, and his promises fulfilled in delivering them to the Promised Land. They celebrated this story each year in festivals and feasts. They taught this story to their children. Their prophets reminded them of their story. When they faced heartache and trials, they reviewed their story together. They even prayed through the story in confession of sin (Nehemiah 9). They remembered God’s faithfulness, his covenant keeping, and his great mercy toward them.
Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced, you his servants, the descendants of Abraham, his chosen ones, the children of Jacob. He is the Lord our God; his judgments are in all the earth. He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations, the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac. (Psalm 105:5–9)
Written by Christina Fox
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