I'm sitting in a hotel room in Euless, TX this morning. I'm watching ESPN and listening as the rain falls outside my hotel window. In between, I'm reflecting on last evening. I had the opportunity to worship with the people of First Baptist Church. What an incredible time it was as their choir and orchestra led us with some uplifting and amazing music.
I had the opportunity to talk a little about the recent events in my life and what God has been teaching me. During the response time and immediately after the service, I had the chance to hear the stories of many people who are hurting. There were a lot of different stories that filled that room last night. Recent deaths, marriages in danger, bad news from the doctor, careers in jeopardy--a whole lot of reasons for people to be seeking hope and help from God.
It got me to thinking this morning. (okay, this next statement is going to be painfully obvious for most of us...bear with me). We all have a story. All of us. There are no exceptions. There are some guarantees that come with these stories. (okay another obvious statement coming) They all have a beginning and an end. They all have their share of twists and turns. They all have ups and downs, victories and failures. But there is a difference. And I think this is where it lies--it's in the credits. You know, that part of the movie that no one pays attention to unless it's filled with outtakes from the film that were cut during editing. The place where everyone who had anything to do with the story is mentioned: stars, editors, producers, car drivers, wardrobe people, grips (what is that anyway?), and the kind people who cater the food for everyone of the people listed above. If you have just viewed a major movie, this list of credits can go on for 5 minutes or more. It's amazing.
Here's my question: who does you story give credit to? Who are the people who have played different roles in your life? Who were the encouragers, the challengers, the ones who distracted you, the ones who belittled you? Who do you give credit to?
Now, here's where I am headed...is there room for God? Do you and I really believe that God has all of our lives in His hands? I believe He does. I believe every event and circumstance has been allowed into my life because the Editor deemed it necessary. Every person that has ever crossed my path came for a reason. My wife, my kids, my friends and my "non-friends" (hate to use the word enemies there) were all characters in the story of my life--a story that was thought up and directed by God Himself.
So, when I get to the end of my story (and maybe when you get to the end of yours) there's got to be this footnote to it all: "Created, directed, produced and edited by God" That enables me to live this story with a different perspective. When problems come it's because God believed I could handle it. When victory comes, it's because God wanted me to use it for His glory. When difficult people come into my life, it's because God wanted to use them to teach me. When life gets hard, God is using it to draw me closer to Him. Just like a good movie, every scene has a purpose. Every character has a role. The difference is...who do I give the credit to?