Living in a God story is beyond crazy. I’m just saying, I couldn’t have made any of this up. I tried, actually. At one point a few years back I imagined I had an inkling of a God vision, and I’d pray accordingly. Yikes. I look back now and I see. Yes, it was God prompting my prayers, and yes He’s been answering all along. Just not at all like I was expecting.
There’s a story unfolding that’s only partially mine to share. Someday maybe, but for now I’ll be vague. I have a cousin, near my age, engaged to be married for the first time ever. In love. And in this wildly improbable series of events, God used my life to intersect with hers, after all these years, and the man she loves is a man I knew, but barely. Looking back now it was only by the Spirit I knew him at all. God whispering to me, and then to them. So completely unlikely, but completely His story. And there’s no question in my mind. This cousin and I – neither one cut out for the journey God has us on, and yet He’s weaving our stories – hers and mine –together with each other and together with His.
We have this in common, my cousin and me. Both of us would choose lives simple, innocent, naïve. It’s how we’re wired and given a choice we’d just keep it that way. But God must see something in us we don’t see in ourselves, given the stretching He thinks we can handle. Goodness. Really?
Yesterday my boys played their first game of soccer this school season. Three Anderson boys, and a whole crowd of fans cheering them on. Friends and family about as assorted as ever could be. Let’s just say God’s mixing a fair share of spicy into my sweet little world. Fiery and feisty, and me just desperate for nice. And it struck me how my pristine little wishes are nothing like Jesus’. How he mixed it up with all assortment of people and didn’t much bother about how it looked on him.
I guess that’s a pretty good summary of a good God story. Stretching us ‘til we look more like Jesus.
Two weeks ago the Revision pastor preached a sermon on unanswered prayer. He gave four answers to the question of why? Two of the four were God’s answer to me – thinking back to those prayers and the God-driven visions. And how wrong I looked at the time. But there were things He knew that I didn’t. (Go figure.) He knew what I needed to make me like Jesus. And He knew of a future way bigger than my dreams.
I just shake my head at the doors He’s opened. How much more life I’m doing. The people I’m meeting. The love He’s increasing. I wouldn’t have chosen this story at all, yet this crazy God story has chosen me.