“They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.”
– Isaiah 61:3(b),4
Wow! It’s hard to believe that this year is almost over. Today, as we stand on the edge of yet another 365 days and all the joy and adventure that they bring, I want to remind you that God is writing a wonderful story in and through your life!
In Jesus, you are on a pilgrimage that is going to form and shape you, but it will be difficult at times. To analogize this, there’s a great book called Hero With a Thousand Faces that was written in the 1920’s by Joseph Campbell. In this work, he elaborates on the idea of the monomyth, or the hero’s journey, asserting that most myths are great adventures that have similar ideas and components. In fact, you see over and over again in successful literature and film in our culture that several key components are present. First of all, you have a hero who starts out living their day-to-day life, often struggling to get by, in very ordinary circumstances. Then, a turn of events, either catastrophic or prompted, thrusts the hero into a world of wonder. In that place, they make friends but also encounter a challenge that is greater than anything they ever imagined facing. Though nearly crushed by the situation, the hero emerges victorious and this becomes their defining moment — the thing that transforms their character and makes them into who they are. After their great victory, they return home with boons, or some form of blessing that brings the world of wonder they emerged from to the ordinary people from whom they came. Though many stories are written that don’t follow this pattern, the ones that do end up being a great success. Why? Because this is what we all experience in life over and over again, and it is your life in Christ Jesus!
Friend, God calls you from an ordinary existence to one that is truly extraordinary and He shows you a world of wonder. However, in the greatness of your calling, there is always a crucible; something you will face that will be extremely difficult. Thankfully, because of your overcoming power in Christ, you will emerge victorious, and what was meant for evil will be turned around for good and used to transform your character and make you a source of strength to those around you. This is your story, both today and every day of the coming year, so step out in faith and embrace the fullness of Jesus’ amazing dream for you!
Lord Jesus, thank you for writing a good story on the pages of my life. I will trust you in the coming year, no matter what I face.
What is your crucible or challenge? How has it transformed you and impacted those around you?