Did you expect to see your story play out this way? Under the illusion of control, most of us were living out the story we carefully crafted. Then a virus with the power to put the world on its knees showed up and handed us the plot twist of a lifetime. Isolation and sanitation are the new main characters who dictate our every move. It’s easier than ever to feel strangled by, and surrender our pens to, the antagonist that seeks to steal, kill and destroy.
Not only have we been smacked with the reality that we can’t control every aspect of our story, we’ve also been reminded that we are not its author. While this can all feel so hopeless, there is yet hope to be found. We can choose to see an overarching, better Story that is being written by a more skilled Author. How can we, why should we, accept and trust the Author of this Story and the plot that is forthcoming?
Ann Voskamp beautifully captures the answer to these questions in a recent blog post entitled “How to Survive This Virus Chapter 1: This is not a drill. The World’s on Fire. We practice our faith for days like these.” She recognizes the magnitude of this COVID-19 moment, and identifies God as the author of the Story.
“We are living history — we get to live HIStory.”
Ann daily reminds herself about the hope of Story we’re in:
“I keep looking in the mirror every morning and telling myself about today, tomorrow, about life: The Story will be trying but it will be triumphant. The Story will be arduous, but it will be victorious. The Story will be long and demanding, but you can live it so in the end it will demand a long standing ovation. However our stories look: Never put your faith in the timeline of the story — but never lose faith in the end of the story. Accept that the story is going to be long and hard — but never lose faith that it’s going to be a good story.”
Our expectations about the timeline of the Story is very important:
“Let go of the timeline of the story — but never let go of the plot line of the story.
If you think you know the timeline of your story — in time, your heart will shatter. But you can know by heart the plot line of your story — that the last line is guaranteed to be a good line.
It is the realists who thrive because they accept the reality of a close God, on a long timeline, writing a good story.”
Voskamp points to the One who writes the Story and why we can trust Him:
“When your faith is in the One who writes the story — you can always trust the end of the story.
You can trust:
Everything’s going to be okay — because the Word Himself walks into our story and walks with us, until the story ends in His time, in His ways, for our ultimate good and for His ultimate glory — and that is why everything’s going to be okay.
And if everything’s not okay yet, everything’s not over yet.”
Most of us can admit that this is not the Story we would have chosen for ourselves, nor is it the one we would have written for anyone EVER! Nevertheless, the Author of this Story is much more talented and trustworthy than any other writer, including ourselves, could ever hope to be.