“…in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.” Psalm 139:16b
Deep in the human heart is a desire to hear, and sometimes tell, a good story. It’s there from the beginning, as babies, sitting on a lap for story time. It’s there when we’re growing up, reading books, watching television, going to movies. It’s there when we get old, telling our own story to others, reminiscing with siblings about a shared childhood, or reliving long-ago moments when our present life is fading before our eyes.
You Have a Story
The blockbuster Broadway hit Hamilton capitalizes on this universal human desire by telling the story of an often-ignored founding father and his unknown but impressive wife, Eliza. After telling their fascinating story for more than two hours, the company asks the audience, “Who tells your story?” It’s powerful and poignant. It grabs your heart and reminds you that you do indeed have a story that may be someday forgotten to history but is equally important to every other story of anyone who’s ever lived. For those who cry easily, like I do, have a tissue handy for this one.
After hearing the powerful closing number of this musical, it’s almost inevitable to ask, “Who tells your story?” But a bigger and more revealing question might be, “Who knows your story?” Your whole story, that is. Your siblings? Your spouse? Your BFF? The fact is, no one knows your whole story. People will come and go in your life, entering at a certain chapter and departing in another, knowing part of your story and hopefully understanding you better because of it. Some will see only a paragraph or two; others will be there for nearly the entire book but are only skimming your narrative. Sadly, some may glance at the cover and believe that they know your story without actually understanding the characters or plot.
God Knows Your Story
But God knows your story….
This month, our last child is getting married. And while I am thrilled with my son’s choice for his wife, and anxious to welcome his new bride into our family, it is a bittersweet time of change. This milestone is also a reminder that my parenting years are now officially over. It is another season of change. Only recently, I retired. The job that I so enjoyed and the accomplishments that went with it are now behind me. On top of that my body is beginning to betray me. My arthritic joints and myopic eyes often combine to remind me of what I could once do.
PEach week after our Bible reading. the pastor of our church concludes with the words from Isaiah that “The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of our God will stand forever.” Every time I hear these words, I think of how my life is withering. Withering is hard to face – and not much fun! We don’t like change, yet change is one of life’s constants. It is guaranteed. The Psalmist wrote about it clearly, though darkly in Psalm 103:15-16; “As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.”I could be discouraged with the Psalmist’s words if I did not continue to read the words that follow in verse 17: “But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children.”