In his book, By The Still Waters, Vance Havner wrote, “Life, for the Christian, does not always run along in story-book style. The hero is not always crowned, [and] the honest do not always get rich…” He goes on to confess that at times in his life he had, “…stood in the harbor and watched others unload the cargos of dreams come true, but my ships did not come in.” (Havner, Vance, By The Still Waters, Fleming H. Revell, New York, 1934, p. 16-17)
In youth we often look down the road and imagine how our lives will turn out, secretly scripting the story we hope we will get to live. Usually, however, we find the pen wasn’t always in our hand, and we didn’t get to write all the chapters we had planned. Life doesn’t run along in the story-book style we believed it would. This can lead us to disappointment in what has happened, and if we are not careful, disillusionment with where we are.
In those times when you realize that the story of your life has not transpired the way you scripted it, it is helpful to remember that it is not your story-book that is being written, but His. Those who belong to Jesus are having their lives re-written according to the plot of the One in whose image they are being transformed and conformed.
Our lives are being written into the bigger story of Jesus, and as they conform more to His purposes and plans, we may very well find them diverging from what were once our plans. Yet, we must keep in mind that His story ultimately finishes much better than even our wildest dreams for ourselves could have. Along the way, the narrative may twist, and crisis may come, and a cross of self-denial and sacrifice will surely await you. But, beyond all of this there is glory – eternal glory – the truest “happily ever after” that has ever been written. And not one bit of it is fiction or fantasy.
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” -II Corinthians 4:17-18