We live in a larger story. This is not the land of the white picket fences with a chicken in every pot. We don’t live in Oz or the Kansas of its wizard. There is an incredibly good ending to our story, but it often isn’t on this side of eternity. Joy comes. Here. Joy is available. Now. It is birthed in the unchanging love of our Father. To know God’s love is to be able to stand in gusts and gales, and though our bodies be knocked over, our souls remain standing strong. We need His eyes on our stories, and we need to see our stories in light of his.
It’s like C. S. Lewis wrote:
“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” (The Weight of Glory)
The larger story, the gospel, reminds us that we live in a fallen world and sin abounds. We know that we have an enemy and he is loose, roaming the earth, searching for those he can devour, shred, and maul. He works through fallen people, even through broken, imperfect Christians, to steal, kill, and destroy. And God loves those people. The Father loves them (and us) so much that He sent His Son to die for all of us. He is for you. He fights for you. He woos you. He protects you from further unimaginable harm that you will never endure, and even in the worst of pain, He is fierce on your behalf.
You can rest in His love. The end of your story is a good one. The grass we will walk on one day when Jesus returns is lush and thick and fragrant.
Do you need Him to redeem the word father for you? He can.
Do you need Him to redeem your story for you? He will. It’s why Jesus came.
Do you want to know Him as Father? He wants that too.
You are loved. Right now. When God looks at you, He sees the one for whom He gave everything and won everything so that you could be with Him forever. You are chosen. You are the apple of His eye. You are the joy that was set before Jesus. Ask God to help you know that. Ask for His view on your life.
And that’s the Memo
By Stasi Eldredge from Defiant Joy