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A Giant Love Story

7 Jul

I love reading the Old Testament.  I always have.  My Aunt Shirley used to have these children’s Bible books at her house that were filled with the Old Testament accounts of the larger-than-life events God chose to record from that period of History.  I can still bring the artist’s rendering of the scenes to my mind and feel the pages that recounted the mother of Moses placing him in the basket of reeds to escape death.  I can see the book lying open on the floor of her living room that drew me into the life of Hannah and made me feel so sad when she left Samuel with Eli. And I can recall the drawing of Delilah as she tried to coax Samson’s secret from him.  I doubt Aunt Shirley had any idea of the impact those children’s books would have on me, but I am convinced that they are one of the things God used to stir my heart at that young age.  Know what? I still love reading about those faith giants.

Noah laboring to build the ark.  —  Genesis 6

Abraham faithfully walking up the mountain. – Genesis 22

Jacob wrestling with God. – Genesis 32

Moses standing on Holy Ground.  – Exodus 3

Rahab dropping the scarlet cord.  – Joshua 2

Gideon fighting with a few.  – Judges 6

David choosing the stones.—1 Samuel 17

Elijah pouring the water. – 1 Kings 18

And the list goes on and on and on.  I am just as enthralled with them all now as I was when I was small.  But now when I read about the events in their lives, I’m reading the Book that gives the full account.  Not just the beautiful shining moments but the ones tarnished by human nature as well.   So not only do I know that Abraham was a man who trusted as he walked up the side of that mountain with Isaac at his side,  I also know he was a man who lied and slept with a slave girl.  I know now that the same Moses who rose to lead the Israelites was a murderer who ran away to avoid the consequences.  And David, who stood to face the giant, was an adulterer and a murderer who wanted to hide his sins from God in the worst way.

All of the giants of faith, every single one of those everyday people, led insignificant, messy, imperfect lives. And yet, He chose to display His love, His grace, and His power through them.  Apart from Him, their stories would have gone unchanged, been unremarkable.  Jacob would have remained a deceiver, David an obscure shepherd, and Rahab a prostitute. It was God who made them different.  It was God who wrote the extraordinary excerpts of their ordinary stories.  He was the Author who penned their significant moments and transformed their lives.  It was all Him—because the story, the history of it all—is His.  It’s His story.

Girlfriend, it’s still all Him and it’s still His story, but may I ask you to believe today with everything you are that His pen has not gone dry?  He is still about the business of writing the most extraordinary excerpts on the pages of ordinary lives – OURS.   Our imperfections do not scare Him.  Our insignificance does not deter Him.  And our messiness will not dissuade our God, who does not change, from swooping down from heaven and transforming our lives.

Now, from our chronos perspective in this very messy, very imperfect world, His story is still unfolding and we may find ourselves wondering where the giants of the faith have gone.  But make no mistake Beloved, they are here.  Oh, they are here.   I know this to be true because I see them every day.  I see them marching out to their mission fields in nursing scrubs, company shirts, and work uniforms.  I see them mowing a sick neighbor’s lawn and bringing a meal to lighten someone’s load.  I see them coming alongside a grieving family, offering comfort, and holding a hand. And yes, I see them putting Old Testament story books into the hands of small children and planting seeds of faith.

I see His wonders.

I see His miracles.

I see His LOVE.

And Sweet Sister, don’t you know . . . . it looks just like you.

Yep, you’re the one.  You’re the giant of faith He has raised up for this place and this time.  He has written His Name across your heart.  He has chosen you to display His grace and His glory.  Don’t you doubt for a moment that His story has always included you and it has always been one Giant Love Story. You know I used to tell my students that “authors always write to be read.”  Thinking about that now,  I don’t think “The Author” is any exception.  I might go so far as to say that the concept is absolutely Biblical.

Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you.

Christ himself wrote it—not with ink, but with God’s living Spirit;

not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives—2 Corinthians 3:3 MSG

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