Tuesday, November 10, 2009

You mean the story's not about me?

Recently several things have come together to change my perspective about my life... again... Seems like God has to keep reminding me and teaching me things I should have known a long time ago. Thank God He is gracious and patient!

I'm reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan, and it's doing a number on me. Here are a few of the quotes that really grabbed my heart:

"Frankly, you need to get over yourself... To be brutally honest, it doesn't matter what place you find yourself in right now. Your part is to bring Him glory."

"The point of your life is to point to Him... God wants to be glorified, because this whole thing is His."

It's His story, His world. That was exactly what I needed to hear. It is easy to fall back into living as if this life and world is about me. When that happens we become miserable about the things that aren't working out like what we want. "This isn't what I wanted for my life, my world."  It's God's world! God's life! His Story! It doesn't matter what I do or don't have. It's all for Him.

Francis goes on to talk about how when we forget this truth we try to control our lives, circumstances and people to fit the vision we have for ourselves. The problem is that this is impossible, which leads us into further frustration, fear, misery and despair. He says:

"I have just as little control over my own life and what will happen to me. Isn't the easiest thing at this point to start living in a guarded, safe, controlled way? To stop taking risks and to be ruled by our fears of what could happen? Turning inward is one way to respond; the other is to acknowledge our lack of control and reach out for God's help."

I have been trying to control my circumstances because I wanted my movie to play out a certain way. In 50-100 years no one will even remember my life because this story is not about me. It is about God. My significance lies in the small part God gives me in directing praise and love towards Him, in my relationship with the One whose story it is. It lies in partnering up with Him, for just a little while,  in what He is doing. The great thing is that He is overjoyed to have us. It's like He's saying, with a big smile on His face, "Hey, Debbie! Let's go! I have really cool plans..." Plans that will play out in His story. We get to jump in and ride along.

Oswald Chambers says it this way:
"I must learn that the purpose of my life belongs to God, not me. God is using me from His great personal perspective, and all He asks of me is that I trust Him. I should never say, "Lord, this causes me such heartache." To talk that way makes me a stumbling block. When I stop telling God what I want, He can freely work His will in me without any hindrance. He can crush me, exalt me, or do anything else He chooses. He simply asks me to have absolute faith in Him and His goodness. Self-pity is of the devil, and if I wallow in it I cannot be used by God for His purpose in the world."

I think we can definitely go to God with our heartache, but that heartache must move from a focus on self and what I have planned for my life, to God and His mysterious purposes, recognizing that even the heartache is to be used for His glory and plans.

So, all that to say, frankly, you need to get over yourself.