When I wake up with a worship song or Scripture already in my mind as my first waking thought, I pay attention. A few days ago, these lyrics were on repeat as I transitioned into my day:
“You write a beautiful story. You write a beautiful story.
From glory to glory. I believe.
You write a beautiful story. You write a beautiful story.
Beginning to ending and in between.” ~ Beautiful Story by Andrew Holt, Mia Fieldes, Robert Marvin
To be honest, I wanted to joyfully believe these words but in the moment it felt more a mantra I needed to repeat over and over to convince myself of. All the same, I was thankful my day was starting with this reminder.
As I pondered this concept more, I considered God’s Word and realized: it’s true. Looking back I can see it clearly that our God does write an insanely beautiful story. The day to day moments often don’t seem so sweet but when you see both the beginning and the end, and the redemption that happens along the way, it becomes clear.
The hard part that we’re living right now is not the end of the story, but it still can be beautiful. Or perhaps how we TELL the story is what really shapes this view.
We can walk through a challenging season of life (like the one we’re all currently living) and have it be all about how hard it was, how tired we were, all the ways people didn’t treat us well or we hurt them, all the ways we messed up, etc.
The narrative I tell can be about how day after day God showed up, how faithful and constant He was when everything was changing, how He provided strength when we had none.
It’s not that the first reality isn’t true, but it doesn’t really capture the beauty of the real story God is writing.
My tendency is to stay focused on the first half. I don’t think I’m the only human who does this. But to do that without also shifting my heart and my words to God’s role and action leaves the story incomplete. If that’s how a movie or book was written we’d label it “boring”. It’s not what people would want to take in.
But Jesus, He writes beautiful stories, stories filled with redemption, with restoration, with faithfulness.
May that be the story I tell this day, this week, with my life.
Which leads me to another recent favorite song called “The Story I’ll Tell” by Alton Eugene, Benji Cowart, Naomi Raine which include these lyrics:
“And I’ll testify of the battles you’ve won
How you were my portion when there wasn’t enough
I’ll sing a song of the seas that we crossed
The waters you parted
The waves that I walked
Oh, oh, oh, My God did not fail
Oh, oh, oh, it’s the story I’ll tell
Oh, oh, oh, I know it is well
Oh, oh, oh, is the story I’ll tell”
That is the story I want to be telling through my life, the song I want to come out of my mouth. Just like I described above, this song, especially in it’s verses, doesn’t ignore the hard and painful aspects of life. It names them all, but it doesn’t stop there. It continues declaring truth that we can trust the pain is not the only part of the story. Rather, because of the faithfulness of God, we know that on the other side we’ll have a water parting, wave-walking, victorious story of provision. It may not happen in this life, but we will some day look back on this moment, yes even a moment in 2020, and see God’s hand on it and in it.
The song ends:
“All that is left is highest praises
So sing hallelujah to the Rock of Ages”
My prayer is that I’d see and pay attention to God’s hand day by day. May we not have to wait until we look back on this time to be able to tell the beautiful story God’s writing. I want God to get the praise, even today.