Yesterday I wrote about how my story starts, and I figured today I would be more hopeful; I will write about how my story will end!
But in order to do that, I have to correct a lie that I told yesterday about how my story starts. My story doesn’t start with my parents getting divorced. It doesn’t start with me being born, nor does it start with my parents having sex or getting married or my dad asking my mom out or my parents’ parents living across the street from one another. Nope. None of that.
My story starts “In the beginning.” The perfect start to a story.
God created the heavens and the Earth. The Bible says the Earth was “without form, and void,” but I think of it as “everything was nothing.” Then God made everything. He boomed it. Everything was nothing, then BOOM! “Let there be light!” God’s a rock star. If you don’t believe me, listen to “Let There Be Rock” by AC/DC. Also listen to “Women” by Def Leppard. I’m not sure how doctrinally accurate either of the songs are, but they are great songs and provide an interesting commentary on Genesis 1 and 2.
Ephesians tells us that “[God] chose us in him before the foundation of the world,” and the Lord told Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” While I definitely recognize God was speaking directly to a prophet, I also believe God knew each of us before he even made us. It’s just logical. He had an idea then executed it perfectly. At least, he made me perfect.
It’s a good story telling technique to start with divorce, but it’s more true to say, “I was chosen in God before the creation of the world, and I fell from that, walking away from His Love. But now I have been reconciled and look forward to eternity in His courts, at His feasts, with His people.” Sure, starting with divorce makes it seem like this is my story, but starting from the beginning truly shows us whose story it is.
Now I am here, living, breathing, eating, loving, hurting, being hurt, caring, pooping, sleeping, and overall just being a human. Pretty mediocre, but still doing human things.
The real story for me starts in a time to come, when Jesus returns. That is the moment when everything gets Caaraaazyyy! First, he rounds up all His people, then, he gives everyone who doesn’t believe some really serious evidence of his power and glory and more time to come to him. Then he retakes the world. Then heaven comes back down to Earth, and God lives with man. And that’s just the Cliff Notes version!
My story ends with Jesus, and it started with Jesus, when he chose me before he even made time. And it started with Jesus, when he died on the cross, and it ends with Jesus, when he was crowned with glory forever. That already happened. In a sense, my story has already been written. Paul says “if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him,” Rom 6:8. “If you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God,” Col 3:1. The whole of my story is, ultimately, in Christ.
And yet here I am in Panara, again, writing and watching people eat bread bowls. I’m not with Christ, seated at the right hand of God in any physical way. I’m a human, doing human things, living very humanly. But Jesus is on the throne. Sometimes I forget, but sometimes I can feel him there, on the Throne of Grace, approachable and powerful all-in-one. He is smiling, he is happy I have been able to concentrate on Him, to enjoy His Glory, to bask in Who He Is.
I don’t want to leave.
One day I won’t leave, one day none of us will leave. But today is not that day! Today I have a date. Today I have to drive, and sleep, and be a human. Today I have to move and act and be and see and do. Jesus is OK with this. He made it that way. But I get the sense He looks forward to the day we are all together as one family too. He looks forward to bringing us home, or perhaps more aptly said as “bringing home to us.”