You will give truth to Jacob
And unchanging love to Abraham,
Which You swore to our forefathers
From the days of old. (Micah 7:20)
God keeps His promises. He loves you and is invested in your life and story as He is in the lives of the many people in the Bible. We often see them—Abraham, Moses, Joseph, Mary, Paul—as protagonists in their stories. We see ourselves as protagonists in our stories. But are we?
It’s a logical assumption to make. It’s my life. I see how I affect others and how they affect me. From my perspective, it seems I’m the main character. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not self-centered or inflated because of it. I don’t believe the world revolves around me. I’m just saying it seems as if I’m the protagonist in my story.
But let’s take a look at just one life we all probably know a bit about: Jonah. God told Jonah, a man of faith, to go to the Ninevites to teach them the difference between their wicked ways and God’s way. Jonah didn’t want to go. He avoided God’s instruction and fled to Tarshish instead. At least, he tried. God stirred a violent storm, which caused quite a commotion on the ship.
Jonah disobeyed and boarded a ship. There was a big storm, and Jonah got thrown overboard to save the ship (since his disobedience spurred the mayhem). Jonah was swallowed by a big fish and taken to the depths of the sea for the opportunity to fully trust God. Jonah eventually went to Nineveh and preached God’s instructions. The Ninevites were saved from destruction, and Jonah sulked—proof that even when we’re obedient to God, we’re not always happy with the results. Jonah was obedient, but he still seemed to prefer to have done things his own way. I can relate.
But let’s revisit the scene on the ship for a moment. Even though we think this is a story about Jonah (after all, the entire book of the Bible is named after him), God strategically used Jonah’s disobedience to draw others close. Look at the impact Jonah’s disobedience had on the captain and sailors of the ship:
Then the sailors became afraid and every man cried to his god, and they threw the cargo which was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone below into the hold of the ship, lain down and fallen sound asleep. So the captain approached him and said, “How is it that you are sleeping? Get up, call on your god. Perhaps your god will be concerned about us so that we will not perish.” (Jonah 1:5-6)
This was a ship full of sailors who worshiped many gods, yet the captain knew enough about the Hebrew God to plea with Jonah to get up and pray, trusting God to take care of them.
Jonah’s story isn’t about Jonah. It’s about God.
My story isn’t about me. It’s about God.
God is the protagonist of your story, too.
God is invested in your life. He created you with purpose. That doesn’t mean your life will go smoothly. It doesn’t mean it will be easy. God gives us choices. He weaves our responses throughout the storyline, entwining our lives with others throughout every phase of our lives.
God spoke and kept His promises to men and women through the pages of Scripture. He speaks and keeps His promises to you no less. He doesn’t fit into your story. You fit into His. He created you, equipped you with purpose, and plans eternity for you. Appreciate your God’s story today.
Dear God, I am so grateful to be a part of Your story. Help me not to get it turned around, believing that You fit into my life instead of me fitting into Your will. Help me also to see others in the context of Your story. Regardless of their disobedience or what it looks like there faith is like, open my eyes and heart to accept them in Your perspective. Weave our lives together so that we learn about You and grow closer to You together.