What if God had written the Old Testament the way we curate our Instagram feed?
There would be beautiful pictures of a garden and two people fresh and young and in love. Next would be Abraham and Sarah standing with their baby by a camel. Moses would be standing with his arms outstretched and the waters parted. He would look strangely like Charlton Heston, of course. Elijah would be calling down fire from heaven. David would be playing a harp by some sheep or on a throne in a beautiful robe. And we couldn’t forget Noah with his pairs of animals.
And all that is there. All the amazing times of these people’s lives. The times they stepped out in faith, miracles happened, peace reigned.
But God didn’t curate the Old Testament that way. He also told us about the first sin and the serpent. The lying and deceit and giving of handmaidens. The desiring to not be used and then the pride that kept Moses out of the promised land. The depression of Elijah and the fact that he actually asked God to kill him. David’s adultery and murder.
These are the parts that we wouldn’t dare to share on Instagram, but God does. Lays it all out there. And why?
Because God knows that our stories are important.
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Romans 15:4
God included the whole story of each person. Their miracles, their faith, yes. But also their failures, their sin. Why? So we might have hope. So that we might learn.
Because none of us is getting through this whole life without sin and failure and despair and terrible situations.
Because we need to know that redemption is possible. That forgiveness is possible. That glorifying God in spite of ourselves is possible.
Because we need to know that we are not alone. We are not the only one with this struggle. We are not the only one with this pain, this failure, this situation.
My word for 2018 is story. Because last fall I knew after many conversations with God that it was time to tell you my story. I’ve talked about depression and illness and losing babies and many other difficult things, but this past year and a half? 2016-2017? Its been a doozy. And maybe yours was too. Or maybe 2018 will be.
All I know is that God believes in stories, Jesus taught in stories, God gave me a story, and He wants me to share it with you.
Not because you need to know the gossip about me, or because I think my story is so special. No. Because God uses stories for our learning and to give hope to others. And you guys, there is so much of God in my story. I can’t wait to tell you how amazing He is.