What do we think the story is?
Last week we spoke about second wonder as a critical part of faith that lasts. Today we’re looking at the stories we carry around about faith, stories that can strengthen our faith or set us up for disappointment.
There’s a story that I think a lot of us carry in our heads that goes something like this: If I believe, if I’m faithful, things will work out for me. God will protect me and bless me. Things will go well and I will feel good.
It’s a nice story, right? It has a happy ending, and it makes us feel in control.
I believe all of that is true, BUT it’s not the whole story.
Of course, Jesus is probably the best example of the whole story. At his baptism, the voice of God literally booms from heaven to affirm him, and he’s ultimately raised from the dead. His story has a great ending! But in the middle, he experiences a long and painful struggle, including betrayal and death.
This is not the story we want to believe. I want to know that if I follow Jesus I will be protected, along with my loved ones.
The Jesus story is not a story of guaranteed victory in every situation. It’s the story of death and resurrection. It’s a story of redemption. It’s a story of renewal. The promise is not that no pain will enter our lives, but rather that when it does, every last betrayal, every last abuse, every last failure, will be redeemed, will be renewed, will be overcome.
Expecting this is not only the only way that will make real sense with your real life, but it’s also, when you realize it, when you see it happen, where the wonder lies.
So-what do you think the story is? And why? I want to leave you with a few questions to help you flesh that out, and maybe uncover where your story and the story Jesus tells line up, and where they differ.
Questions to consider:
By Brad Zinn; Edited by Rebecca DeWhitt.
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