I started reading a book called You Can Trust God to Write Your Story: Embracing The Mysteries of God’s Providence by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth and Robert Wolgemuth. Honestly, the title alone has enough lessons for me to take to heart.
I wanted to share though their thoughts, or main lessons that weave through the book, and through our lives as pilgrims. This content really hits home!
God’s Providence is often better seen in retrospect.
There’s something about the clarity of looking into a rearview mirror.
Looking back often gives us a more accurate picture of where we’ve been and what it means. That’s not to say that every look back will show us all there is to see—at least not in this life. We have to have eyes to see, and that may take time and prayer. But if we continue to ponder where we’ve been and look with the eyes of faith, the view in the rearview mirror will often snap into focus and we’ll get a clearer vision of how God has been working in our lives.
The view out the front windshield is a different story. We may think we know where we’re headed, only to discover again and again that we had no earthly idea.
What actually takes place may not at all be what we had envisioned or anticipated.
What we see looking ahead is our story—our circumstances seen from our finite, limited perspective.
What appears when we look back is God’s Story—what He sees and knows and has in mind, how He is always at work for our good and His glory. God is writing a Story—the Story of redemption. It is grander and greater than anything we can imagine.
Here are some important things we need to remind ourselves often about His Story and how it relates to the story He is writing in and through each of our lives:
1. Our individual stories are part of a much bigger Story. At times, we will experience heartache, loss, disappointment, and unfulfilled longings. But He is weaving all of that into a Story that will have us lost in wonder and worship when we get to the end.
2. Ultimately, this Story is not about us, but about Him. We are bit players in His Story. We are not the stars. He is!
3. Perspective makes all the difference. God sees the beginning and the end and everything in between; we only see this present moment. In storytelling language, His is an omniscient point of view, whereas ours is limited to what we can perceive from our earthly vantage point. He has a wide-angle lens and sees the whole mural He is painting in all of history. We see only the little speck of time and space we occupy at this moment.
4. God works in unexpected, unexplainable ways to accomplish His purposes. We should not expect Him to write our story the way we would write it.
5. God sovereignly and purposefully ordains and orchestrates the circumstances of our lives. There is no such thing as happenstance or accident. Nothing catches Him off guard. There is no plot twist in your story or ours of which He is unaware or that He can’t overcome.
6. What we see now is not the whole story. If we could see what God sees and know what He knows, our hearts would be at peace.
7. We can trust Him to write the story of those we love. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t help or support them. But we don’t want to rescue them from circumstances that may be a chapter of the story He is writing in their lives.
8. The challenges we face may be a part of God writing someone else’s story. God wants to use our story to be a means of His grace and intervention in the lives of others—even those who may have “wrecked” our story.
9. Those who trust in Him will never be disappointed.Not every chapter in this life has a “happy” ending. But every true child of God will live “happily ever after.” We can be sure of that.
10. You can trust God to write your story … and you can be sure that in the end, He will right your story!
Lord, thank you for the story that you are weaving in my life, it really is your story, meant to bring you glory. Help cement these lessons into my heart. I am not yet able to look back and see all that you are doing, but you are no doubt the Author of the setting and the plot. You are moving the players around in this grand story, and my part is always to trust you because you know the end of the story even when I am stuck in this current chapter.
Wonderful, wonderful truths to rest in. This one is especially meaningful: We can trust Him to write the story of those we love. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t help or support them. But we don’t want to rescue them from circumstances that may be a chapter of the story He is writing in their lives.