I love to read. Much more than watching TV, reading takes me outside of my own story and drops me into someone else’s. The best part is that in the span of several hours, I can see the story through from beginning to end without being overwhelmed by the middle.
But real life isn’t like that. Sure, we have some smaller plot lines that run their course within a few months or years, but for the most part we live life in the drama of the middle.
Shauna Niequist wrote about this in her devotional called Savor. Here’s a clip:
I’ve written a few stories and can certainly say my characters have no idea how their story will end until they get there. [Full disclosure: I’ve started four novels but have finished exactly none, so even I don’t know where their stories end at this point!] But the author of our life stories isn’t like that. Thankfully, he isn’t the lazy, distracted writer I am. He is the best author out there and writes the most amazing stories.
Are you stuck in the type of middle Shauna writes about? Most of us find ourselves there (here!), at any given time. I challenge us to the following three thoughts as we live in our middles:
- Do you know your author? If not, now’s the perfect time to get introduced.
- Do you trust your author? Our stories have lots of sub-plot lines, twists, and turns. While I’m still living in the middle of my greater life story, I can find hope in celebrating the sweet endings God has brought to so many of those smaller plot lines. He didn’t let me down there, and I can trust him to carry me through this middle as well. Because he knows how my story will end, and promises to meet our needs, I can trust him daily—even during the darkest, scariest, and loneliest parts, when I can’t see my way out.
- Do you know and love your fellow characters? No matter how much satan tries to make us believe otherwise, we are not alone and we aren’t meant to be alone. Our story includes a whole host of beautiful people who are supposed to help us along the way… if we let them. This goes both ways. We need to be the loving support other people need to brave their middles, and accept the loving support God wants to offer us through other people.
Father God, thank you for loving us enough to write the Big Story that saves us all. Give us the peace you promise, to live through our middles. Amen.