“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…” Hebrews 12:2 (KJV, emphasis is my own).
As a writer and aspiring author, the analogy that God is the Author of our stories has always resonated with me deeply.
When I write, I dedicate hours upon hours of time to my story. Developing the plot, working on the setting, and fleshing out all the little details are necessary to make a story good.
But what I tend to focus on the most are my characters.
No matter how big or little their role is, I make it my job to learn everything about them—endless details about their past and fears, their likes and dislikes, sometimes even down to their favorite flavor of ice cream!
That’s just one of the things I love about this analogy—that it conveys God’s devotion to us.
If I, a broken, flawed human, am willing to spend hours, months, even years devoted to a fictional character, then think how much more our Savior, who is perfect and sinless, is willing to devote Himself to us as real people. People He has claimed to love over and over again.
Matthew 10:30 talks about how the Lord even knows the number of hairs on your head. This is a perfect example of just how much God knows and cares about you!
Difficult Stories Develop Character
Now, when I write about my characters, I grow pretty attached to them from the moment they spark as an idea in my head to the second their story ends. I want my readers to feel what they feel, which, by extension, means that I feel what they feel. When they go through difficulty, I’m right there with them, crying, searching for answers, or helping them move on to something better. You could say I love my characters and I want what is ultimately best for them.
That said, I don’t make things easy for them.
Part of this, of course, is to keep the story interesting. But the biggest reason is because if I didn’t put my characters through any kind of difficult situation, they wouldn’t change.
They would remain flat, one-dimensional ideas that don’t have an impact on anything or anyone. Their story would lose the potential to move someone to tears or inspire laughter.
So, I try my best to get them to experience growth throughout their story. I put obstacle after obstacle in front of them, followed by excruciating situations and painful experiences. When the story is finished, if I’ve done it right, my characters have changed and grown into something that was really the goal of the story the entire time. It isn’t easy, making them suffer, but I bring them small moments of understanding and joy, and in the end, they are better for it in so many ways.
In the same way I dedicate hours of my time to giving my fictional characters the resources and experiences they need to become what they are supposed to be, God has dedicated Himself to us and to our stories. He provides everything we need so that we can change and grow.God has dedicated Himself to us and to our stories. He provides everything we need so that we can change and grow. Click To Tweet
However, unlike my fictional characters, who have no choice but to do whatever I write, we have free will. We can choose to resist growth, to let the difficulty God allows in our stories to make us hard and bitter, or we can choose to submit to our Author’s leading and trust His superior perspective of our stories.
If we choose to trust Him, then when our stories on earth are over, we will have greater wisdom and stronger character. We will be exactly what God had in mind since the beginning of creation—a people who reflect His image.
God Will See Our Stories Through
One last thing to keep in mind: whenever my characters get into a terrible situation, whenever I’ve put them through something hard, I’m still there. I’m always giving them what they need to go on. Because I’m an imperfect human, I may get frustrated. I may decide it’s not worth it. I may chuck the story in the trash because it’s just too hard.
But God is not like that. Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “…for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
Unlike me, our Author is all-knowing and perfect. He loves us more than I could ever love my fictional characters, more than any of us can really understand. He won’t leave us. He won’t give up on us when things get hard. He won’t decide our story is pointless. He sees the meaning behind everything even when we cannot.If we choose to trust Him, then when our stories on earth are over, we will have greater wisdom and stronger character. We will be exactly what God had in mind since the beginning of creation—a people who reflect His image. Click To Tweet
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future.’” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV).
“…the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.” Acts 3:15 (KJV, emphasis is my own).
In the worst of times, God is there with us. Every hard thing He allows us to go through is working to our advantage, for our good and our growth. When we submit our stories to His greater story, we can be sure we will find life in The End.