So, what is the greatest story that you have ever read or heard? For me, that story is told in my book, “I Have Come To Set The Earth On Fire”. Not that I am trying to make a shameless pitch for readership of my book, but why shouldn’t your own story be the greatest story that you have ever read or heard?
I find myself picking up my book and rereading it every once in a while. I have, over the last 2 years since self-published, read it probably 20 times at least. I reread my book not as some sort of self-aggrandizement. It is not that I have nothing else to read or do. It is because my story, to me, is the greatest story I have ever heard. My life’s story is not all about my triumphs. My book reminds me; however, that no matter what I have done and where my brain is at the present time, I have and can overcome all adversity. My salvation is there for the asking.
Even so, the book reminds me that, in spite of all the good that has happened to me, that God has infused me with, I still get depressed. I still act contrary to how I should act. Given all the wonders God has set at my feet, I am not filled with joy and peace the way God wants me to be/feel. Though, even at my lowest points, my book reminds me how God loves me and is with me especially at those lowest points. God is with me even though it seems that I am totally alone in this world. Even Peter, Jesus’ closest and trusted confidant, denied Jesus in Jesus’ time of great obstacle and need.
Next, by rereading my life’s story, I am reminded that the world is beautifully surrounding me. In my story, I see how my sin and bustle of life, cause me to lose sight of the world and its beauty as I spiral inward. I am able to see that my greatest triumphs in my life have come when I am able to break free from my inwardly spiral; to see just one bright ray of light from that beautiful world that God has surrounded me with. My greatest victories then come when that ray of light seen shatters my inward death spiral and propels me back into God’s arms. I see sometimes I have to hit rock bottom before I can even notice that bright ray.
But what my book gives me most of all, as 1 Peter 3:15 says, “Always be ready to give an explanation for the reason for your hope.” It gives me the hope of transformation. The hope of Salvation. Now that is a great story. That is why I read my book over and over again. I read my book to renew my hope; to remind and replenish my reason for my hope.
So, shouldn’t your story be the best story you have ever read or heard? My book may be inspiring to read, but the goal of my book is for its reader to be moved to relive and even write one’s own story just as I did; to show the challenges and the triumphs; to show the good and the warts; to look back especially at those times of great challenge and see how the reason for your hope allowed you to overcome great adversity – and that your reason for your hope never fails you time and time again. You can see that the adversity experienced actually makes you a stronger and a better person. Your adversity brings you closer to your God and Salvation.
So, the next time you read or hear a good and inspiring story, don’t stop there. Go back and reread your story. Remember what God has given you to make you a cherished child of God. Especially if you are in a state of mind somewhere between the best and the worst, relive your story to remind yourself for the reason for your hope. Look for and experience that thin but bright ray of light. Latch on to it and use it to pull you out of your hole; to see the world in a new and bright way as your hope kicks one into experiencing the true beauty that God has laid at your feet; to realize that God has not left you but continues to shower you with grace, those thin rays of light, to call you into communion with Him.
So, what does your story read like? I bet it is more exciting and filled with great nuggets of wonder and hope than you feel your story to be. Go write your story. I guarantee you that you will be surprised and amazed. I guarantee, if you do an honest and passionate deep dive of your life’s story, that it will be a book that you will continue to read. It will be a story, that when you have an urge to pick up a good book to read, the first book that comes to mind is your own. What is the reason for your hope? That is for you to find out. What are you waiting for? Amen.