A guest post by Christine Willard.
Follow Christine's writing at www.splintersong.com
There’s still ink in the pen. I believe that the last lines of the story have yet to be written. I am caught up in a Divine masterpiece, scribbled words etched on stone, Word becoming flesh, dwelling among us. It is His story. The story we are all caught up in. Do we dare to turn the page?
It’s a new year, and I’ve been thinking a lot about this coming year, goals I wish to accomplish, dreams I hope to see come true. I ponder a lot on my story, the pages I am writing. But isn’t that how it is these days? We all have a story to tell. We all want to listen to someone else’s story.
One of my resolutions this year is to read the Bible through in it’s entirety. It’s amazing how easily the Bible itself can be put on a back burner for other good reads, spiritual memoirs, Christian classics. These are good things, but when they neglect my time in the Word itself, the good becomes enemy of the best. So, I’ve resolved to make sure I am in the Word of God daily. I stumbled upon a wonderful app where the narrator reads Scripture aloud; there is something powerful in the Scriptures being heard orally. Heaven descends and it seaps into the marrow and bones.
I haven’t discarded other literature completely. I began reading a new devotional, a supplement to my studies in the Word. It’s creative, light reading, and well-written. The other day, however, as I took it out to read the words for the day, I was convicted.
I began reading the devotional thinking of Christ--His story. The Scripture passage quoted described how John the Baptist proclaimed One was coming Who was greater than he. Listening to the Bible app and reading Scripture alone, my focus was on Christ, Who He is.
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched--this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.” (I John 1:1) Let the power and wonder of that truth soak into your marrow for a moment. It’s transformative.
But by the time I was done reading this devotional my focus had shifted from Christ to myself, to MY story. It was a subtle shift. The author stressed why telling our stories is so important. How we all have a story learned through living. So, I followed this train of thought and began to focus on myself. What is it that He wants to tell through me? What is my story?
What the author presented is true, and important to be aware of. We do have stories to share. But How often do we neglect and forget His story in view of our story? There is so much focus today on sharing our story, but have we lost the intensity of sharing the greatest story there is to tell?
Why my story, when I can share His story?
This God-man took on human form, wrapped himself in flesh and bone, and walked among us.
John records that his own eyes have seen this Deity and his own hands have touched the Word of life. The story of the incarnation boggles the mind, transforms history, and men celebrate this cosmic entry from heaven to earth every year.
But the story doesn’t end there. This God-man healed lepers, raised the dead, calmed the wind and the waves. When was the last time we sat down and told one of these stories? How long has it been since I have marveled at the mystery of a few loaves of bread feeding a mulitude?
When I open the Holy Scriptures, let my heart burn within me, O Lord.
This year I don’t want it to be so much about my story, as it is about His story. The narcissistic culture we live in demands us to focus on ourselves. But there is a greater story being played out. The mystery is unfolding before our eyes every day. And when the storyline doesn’t make sense to us. When we don’t understand what He is doing, or why He is doing it, the Who makes sense. The One who is history holds the pen in His hand. It is His story, after all.
The final lines have yet to be written. There is still ink in the pen. And this is the storyline that I want to be dialed into. I want to keep turning the pages, looking for His character traits in every storyline. I desire to live with my eyes gazing the heavenlies for His return. I resolve to live the lyrics of the story of the One with the splintered hands.
May our prayer echo that of Flannery O’ Connor’s as recorded in A Prayer Journal:
“Dear God, I cannot love Thee the way I want to. You are the slim crescent of a moon that I see and my self is the earth’s shadow that keeps me from seeing all the moon ... what I am afraid of, dear God, is that my self shadow will grow so large that it blocks the whole moon, and that I will judge myself by the shadow that is nothing.
"I do not know You God because I am in the way. Please help me to push myself aside.”
May my story never overshadow His story. The ink scribbles the story of the Man of Sorrows. I am turning the pages as it dries.