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Tell Me A Story

I think this is why God decided the Bible should be full of stories.

The problem with pain is that we can’t see the end of the story from the middle. If we could, then no doubt we’d agree with Paul when he calls the troubles of this world “light and momentary” and can’t help but think of the eternal glory that will far outweigh whatever we happen to be suffering today.

But when “today” and “suffering” collide, this chapter of the story pretty much consumes our mental and emotional energy. We have no gas left in the tank to imagine a better future.

I think this is why God decided the Bible should be full of stories.

Someone could repeatedly remind us, “God has a plan that will be good in the end.” And I suppose we’d try to believe them (sometimes succeeding, sometimes not). God himself can say over and over (and over) through his Word, “Don’t worry, I got this,” and there will still be part of us that says, “Yeah, God, but today just still hurts.”

So instead he says, “Let me tell you a story about some of my daughters. Their names were Naomi and Ruth.” And we find ourselves mourning with Naomi, resonating with her bitterness and despair. Ruth’s dedication inspires us, though we worry how it will all turn out. And by the time Boaz becomes a living demonstration of redemption, we wonder if maybe one day our desperate faith will be rewarded, maybe eventually our cause for bitterness will cease.

So instead he says, “Let me tell you a story about my Son.” He has lots of names, but perhaps today more matters more than Redeemer. Jesus is a true and better Boaz. He doesn’t leave you in bondage, but purchases you as his own and will redeem whatever darkness lurks in the earlier chapters of your story.

Have we reached that happy ending? Not yet. But someday we will. How do I know? That reminds me of a story…

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