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Monday, September 10, 2007

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?

4 comments:

HizChild said...

Ridley:

I spoke to you last night about "falling from grace"...Which, we cannot. He sealed us.

You asked and here is my response.....Please see www.denesesmith625.blogspot.com.

God is taking me on a new journey and spoke through you last night.

An absolutely amazing service.

You have a beautiful new family and may God always shine his face upon you and yours.

still gardening... said...

it's ironic that today i sat and wrote this line on my own blog -"is my God big enough to write a story for me when I've so greatly failed?"
Guess He already has...

Diana said...

WoW! I am never at a loss for thoughts when reading your entries.

I would hate to think that at the end of my movie that I took more credit for my life than I gave God.

I can take credit for all the choices that left God shaking His head saying "Girl...what are you thinking?"

A pastor in a sermon a few months ago said
"God is the rememdy!"
How much more bluntly can that be said. You can't look at that statement and not be changed.

That quote tells me who his movie revolves around!
It certainly makes me think that my movie shouldn't just be including Him (not the preacher, God), but that God should have the leading role in it.

Diana

julie said...

God really does hold each of us in the palm of his hand. I recently had surgery and had trouble sleeping secondary to the surgical pain. I started taking Ambien and slept quite well. I also started experienced anxiety I had never before experienced. The anxiety was paralyzing. I had a fear of driving near semi trucks since college. I hydroplaned due to a semi truck passing me just a downpour occurred on I- 475 on my way home from college. There is a point to this... I was driving to my new home to meet my husband. I had my son, Luke, in the car and was caught on the Pennsylavania turnpike with only 66 miles to go to reach my new home. A downpour began and my anxiety reached new heights. I pulled off for my son to go to the bathroom and absolutely could not bring myself to get back on this two lane highway in pouring rain and what seemed like hundreds of semi trucks going 70 miles per hour. I called my husband who asked, " Are you haveing a nervous breakdown?" He wanted to come and get me but my stubborness would not say yes to this option. Instead, I prayed as hard as I ever had. I asked my son to pray for Mommy. My son closed his eyes and prayed, " God please help Mommy drive. She is very scared. Amen." A simple prayer from the mouth of a babe. I sat, just feet from the ramp watching many cars get on the turnpike. I was thinking, if that person can do this I can too. I turned on my sons bible songs CD. Very shortly, I looked and saw what looked like a break in semi trucks coming my way and I edged on to the turnpike. I looked back for awhile to see if a semi truck was coming up. None were in sight. I even went past a ramp where one was coming down the ramp but I never saw it in my rear view mirror. Suddenly, about twenty miles up, an arrow closed the right lane, the slow lane. I moved over and saw a SUV crushed. The ambulance had passed by just a couple of minutes before I reached the site. I thanked God for all he had done to keep me from that experiencing that accident myself. Then for another forty-two miles not a single semi truck came near me. You must realize I am on the Pennsylvania turnpike and not one semi truck even came close to me. I began smiling, I just could not stop. Then, to prove God does have a sense of humor, just before I got off the turnpike, four miles from beginning the next phase in my life, I see a service sation absolutely FULL of semi trucks. It was, to me, God saying, "I do have the whole world in My hands. Here's your sign." ( I am from Georgia)
This is one of my greatest testimonies and certainly the screenplay was writtten by Him.
All the glory is His. I am only His instrument.
Your sister in Christ,
Julie