READ : Hebrews 12:1-11
“I don’t know what you can make of those stories.” I heard that comment often at the conclusion of my visits, and it got me thinking: at the end of our lives, before we hand our Righteous Judge the completed chapters of our personal histories, wouldn’t we love to do some major editing? Take out those incidents that embarrass us with our selfishness, conceit, insensitivity, stupidity, and lack of faith. Remove all that is shameful. Hand over a sanitized version that God would be sure to approve.
But we can’t do that, can we? Like Samson, Rahab, David, Jonah, Paul, and all who have gone before us, we must hand over our checkered histories just as they are.
And consider the story of God’s People. If you were an unbeliever studying church history, would you be able to look past centuries of squabbling, power politics, intolerance, and collusion, and somewhere see the glory of God?
And yet, God continues to use the Church! In many and unexpected places, grace shines through, as the hungry are fed, the sorrowing are comforted, the lonely find fellowship, and the Good News of salvation is proclaimed. The powerful love of God transforms our stories, individual and corporate, into testaments of grace. Hallelujah!
Lord Jesus, we look to You, the author and perfecter of our faith. Make our stories testaments of Your grace. Amen.