Who Holds the Pen of Your Life?
By Chris Amos
Who doesn’t like a good action thriller? Throw in an engaging plot, an easy-to-hate villain, and a climactic battle in which the bad guy gets what’s coming to him, and the underdog hero is the one who delivers it, and you have a movie worth watching. A well-timed explosion and vehicle pursuit (think “Jason Bourne”) and you’ve got something worth watching more than once. Hollywood knows what buttons to push to get the results they desire. And if they sense their “script” is not working they will quickly use the edit process to get back on track. Of course, even with all of their experience they often get it wrong … to the tune of millions of dollars.
What would you say if I told you our lives are very much like a Hollywood script? I mean we all experience twists and turns, ups and downs and the “joy of victory and agony of defeat.” We all have a villain who just grates us to no end. We have all experienced our own Alamo moments on the street when it seemed as though everyone was against us. While our lives may not seem nearly as exciting, redemptive or significant as a Hollywood blockbuster, I assure you they are MUCH more so.
In January of this year, I preached on Jesus Christ as the “Author and Finisher of our faith.” In other words, for those who trust Jesus, our lives are not the byproduct of a random roll of the dice. Each day, every call responded to, door knocked on, suspect pursued, and case testified to have purpose and significance beyond our ability to understand. To the Jesus Christ follower, our lives and life stories or “scripts” are in His hands! Does that mean we will never experience pain, sorrow, defeat, even perhaps death in the line of duty? Absolutely not. But what that does mean is that each chapter of our lives, while they at times may be difficult and burdensome, ultimately lead to God’s glory and our eternal good.
Last year I experienced this in a very personal way as I stood behind a microphone just feet from my son Seth’s flag-draped casket. Seth was an almost 10-year veteran of the Norfolk Police Department. He was training for SWAT school when he became ill. Seven weeks later, he passed away after enduring weeks of excruciatingly painful medical tests and treatment. The funeral home director, a friend of mine, told me he had never seen a body that had been put through what Seth’s body had endured. Seth died just three weeks after turning 30y. A party was thrown in Seth’s ICU room. His eyes were opened for all of 15 seconds. Seth passed on Oct. 19, my birthday. He left behind a wife and two sons, ages 1 and 6.
Seth was a follower of Jesus Christ, and while his unexpected death caught all of us by surprise it did not surprise Jesus, the “Author and Finisher of our faith.” Certainly, the preferred ending, and Hollywood ending, would have been a miraculous recovery. The truth was, and is, God’s will and His way for Seth is far better than anything we could conjure up or Hollywood could produce. As a family we have experienced a pain and a sorrow, the depths of which I have never known. And yet so too has God given us a peace that comes, not from understanding what happened, but SURPASSES understanding. Why settle for a peace that comes from understanding when God promises a peace that is greater than understanding?
And so on that January Sunday morning I gave everyone a pen at the beginning of the service. I asked all who were willing to turn over the pens or “scripts” of their 2019, to place their pen in a small wooden manger. Before I concluded the message I had the manger moved to the exit door. Having surrendered their 2019 to Jesus, I now instructed each person to pick up their pen on the way out. You see, while Jesus will direct our 2019, it is still you and I who will actually live it. I have my pen on the dashboard of my car and every day, several times a day, I look at that pen and am reminded that Jesus is in control. No matter what that day may hold, Jesus is in control He is the “Author and Finisher of our faith.” Friend, if Jesus does not hold your 2019, I encourage you to give it to Him TODAY.
See you at the Finish Line!