I like stories. I like to read stories and I like to watch movies that depict a good story. And, I have to admit, I like a story with a happy ending. I like to see joy and happiness come into the lives of people.
Oftentimes I drive part way up the airport road and sit in a turnout overlooking the downtown area of John Day. I contemplate the life of our little town and appreciate the people I have come to know. But in the whole scheme of things, it occurs to me how small our little community is.
Have you ever found John Day on Google Earth, then zoomed out until the town is just a pinpoint on the map? You only have to zoom out 150 miles before John Day nearly disappears into the landscape. Consider Bend that nearly disappears at 450 miles or Portland at 5,000 miles altitude. We are pretty small in comparison.
Yet sitting there overlooking our little town, I realize how important our community is in God's eyes. To Him, we are not nearly disappeared, but He is very near. As I looked down onto the downtown area and watched the people and the cars and the activity, I realized each person, yes, each family, represented a story. Everyone has a story of life. Every story is unique, interesting, challenging, full of life and drama and comedy and many heart-warming moments. Those stories are filled with excitement and danger, laughter and tears, life and death. And every story is real, non-fiction, true-to-life.
Sitting up on the hill, looking down and thinking of all the stories that are special and personal, I thought of God who also looks down on the entire world filled with people and their stories, and God knows every one of them. And God was looking down upon a small town in Eastern Oregon and noticing all the stories represented by the people who live and pass through downtown John Day. And I wondered what part God had in each of those stories.
I like happy endings. In fact, whether it is a comedy or a drama or action-packed, or whatever, in every real story, I want those people in those stories to know that God not only offers happy endings, but He offers a profound sense of joy and fulfillment in one's whole life as their story unfolds.
Whether your story has a lot of drama, a lot of heart-warming moments, a lot of action-packed adventures, or whatever, God can bring His joy and life into your story. And your story can be even better than it is. God just doesn't want a chapter at the end of your book. He wants to be in every chapter adding to your life story.
Jesus said in John 10:10, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
You have an awesome story. God wants to be part of it. In fact, He wants to be totally involved in your story; to give you the fullness of His abundant life. How that happens is through your willing heart and willingness to invite Him into your life. Jesus died for your sins so you can be forgiven and He can come into your life and into your life story. God not only brings happy endings, but abundant life.
Would you be willing to co-author your story with God through Jesus Christ? Revelation 3:20, Jesus said, "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me."
He wants to join you in your story.
Dan Wiese is the pastor of the Church of the Nazarene in John Day.