Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
Being outnumbered by women in my household means I watch a lot of HGTV. Don't let them know this, but I secretly enjoy watching all those home renovation shows, especially ones that have "tiny" somewhere in their title. Shows like Tiny House Hunters or Tiny House, Big Living focuses on people who want to get rid of the clutter and downsize their lives.
Every time I tune in, I begin to wonder if I could make the switch to being a minimalist. I tried once by tackling my book collection and failed miserably. I learned quite quickly that I love to hold on to things. I couldn't let certain books go because they were too sentimental, a page turner, a gift from a friend, had insight I might need later, and the list went on and on. Loosening my grip wasn't happening - each book had a story, memory, or emotion attached to it.
We hold tightly to things we love and look to for security, including our expectations. We cling to our expectations for a host of different reasons: fear, an illusion of control, pride, worry, insecurity - to name a few. From our perspective, we should be the one authoring the story of our life. We grab a pen and scribble down how things should unfold. We attempt to craft every chapter to our liking and timing. We don't want any re-writes to take place.
The problem with the stories we craft is that they are rarely captivating. Why? Because we're the center of attention and the theme focuses on what happens TO us rather than the growth that should be taking place WITHIN us. Author Donald Miller puts it like this, "If the point of life is the same as the point of a story, the point of life is character transformation."
When our heart and mind become crowded by the clutter of our expectations, we leave little room for God to move in our hearts. There's no place on our shelves for the new stories God wants to tell through us. We either yearn for the glory days of the past or daydream about the future.
The only way to embrace the new things God has for us is by putting down the pad of paper and handing over the pen to Him. We allow God to write our story by letting go of our expectations. Each chapter we let Him author we grow in wisdom, patience, trust, and faith. God utilizes every twist and turn in our story to strengthen our reliance on Him.
- Where are you trying to author your own story?
- What causes you to hold on to the pen and not let go of your expectations?
God, may the story of my life speak to Your faithfulness. Use its pages to tell a tale of faith, courage and hope. Let me drop the pages of my expectations and embrace a better story - one that centers on Your grace. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.