Can you remember back to your childhood when all the story books began with “Once upon a time,” and ended with “The End?” In between those two phrases, a story would unfold; some stories telling of wild adventure, others telling of trial and triumph. Whatever the storyline, when you saw the phrase, “The End,” the story was over. Whether you understood what happened throughout the plot or not, whether the hero defeated the villain or not, or whether “they all lived happily ever after” or not, “The End” meant THE END! Now lets take the format of our favorite childhood story books and bring it into our real lives. I think some of our stories read like this:
“Once upon a time, there was a girl named ________, and she was raped. The End.”
“Once upon a time, there was a boy named ________, and he was convicted of a felony. The End.”
“Once upon a time, there was a woman named _______, and she was a single mother raising two children alone. The End.”
“Once upon a time, there was a man named, _________ and he was laid off his job and struggling to pay his bills. The End.”
A portion of my story would read something like this:
“Once upon a time, there was a woman named Christen Rouson, and she had a husband that walked out of her life one day never to return. She aborted a baby at the age of 18, and she suddenly lost her mother 6 months shy of her 22nd birthday. Because of the debt that she was left with and the effects of the economy, she has been in a constant state of financial turmoil for the past few years. She also was diagnosed with high blood pressure at the age of 18, and sometimes suffers from debilitating headaches and chest pain. The End.”
Doesn’t it seem as if there should more to that story before the conclusion is pronounced? For many of us, though we want more to our stories, all we know is our reality, and we have just learned to live with it. Here’s the deal, throughout life, we make mistakes and bad decisions, we have bad things that happen to us, and God allows things to take place without our permission. Regardless of where the fault could be placed, we have to live with the consequences (both good and bad) of those life occurrences. For many of us, we have lived with those consequences for so long, that we don’t even consider that there is another way of life for us to live. Yes, other options exist, but not for us…right? WRONG!
Think about where you are in life right now. Think about what has happened to you and what the effect was. Think about your current condition. (You are not financially stable, you suffer with an illness in your body, you have been hurt severely, you have been abandoned, etc.) Now consider the fact that your condition CAN change. I know it seems hard to believe, but there IS more to your story.
“We are assured and know that all thinks work together and are fitting into a plan for good to and for those who love God and are called accord to His design and purpose” Romans 8:28 [Amplified Translation]
That scripture is giving you assurance. If you love God and you are aligned with His plan for your life, everything that you went through and are going through are working together for your good. Imagine a 100 piece puzzle that you must put together to create a large picture. Though you may have seen glimpses of the final product, the individual pieces can become frustrating and overwhelming. Just like those puzzle pieces, your life’s situations can make you want to quit and settle with what you have. But there is a big picture! Each of your life trials are actually lining up side by side to create the design that God has for your life.
THE MORAL OF THE STORY :
Though you’ve lived with your current condition for a while, though your current condition seems overwhelming and frustrating, though you are not living the big picture that you caught a glimpse of, there is still more life to live and great things waiting for you.
“God is going to put a comma where there was once a period.” -Bishop Kenneth White
There IS more to your story, and if you love God, its GOOD! Your condition IS NOT your conclusion! This is actually your BEGINNING!
So let’s try our hand at your life story again… [fill in the blanks.]
“Once upon a time there was a man/woman/boy/girl named ________________, and he/she ______________________. THE BEGINNING.”