God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6
“Do you have a pencil?” he asked. Realizing there were plenty of kinds of pencils he added, “You know, the old-fashioned kind?” I’m not sure what he needed it for but I rummaged through my desk drawer and found one. I think he needed one with lead on one end and an eraser on the other. The kind where you use one end to write a story or make a mark and the other you use to remove our “oops.” Today we are more likely to use the delete key on a keyboard. Erasers were my friends. Delete keys are my new friend. It makes my oops disappear. I have a lot of oops.
My delete key changes things. I mentioned recently that I did something that I had done only once before. I opened the church calendar on my computer and started deleting things. Evening service. Delete. Youth Impact. Delete. KLICK and Women’s Bible Study. Delete. Wednesday services. Delete. Choir Practice. Delete. Delete, delete, delete. When I was done the calendar looked, well, mostly empty. Mostly empty.
Then it hit me. Like an artist I was staring at a blank canvas and I realized what had been planned was gone. The space that was cleared left plenty of room–room for God to write a new story. A different story. A better story. Several weeks ago, I began writing. With more white on the page there was more time to write. Without God orchestrating the delete button, the stories would still be in my head and heart but not on the page. The thing I resisted led to the freedom to do it.
I wonder what would happen if we started concentrating on the ways God can use this hot mess we are in to rewrite stories? What if we started to freely, to openly, invite Him to use the delete button and rewrite the stories of our lives? I wonder what opportunities, what adventures would suddenly fill our pages. A walk to the park becomes a safari. Homemade pizza night becomes an edible art gallery. The dining room table is cleared and we drag out the family games that have stayed in the closet too long.
Then there are cards to write, and calls to make, and stories to share. Imagine the kids’ faces as they hear again how you met each other or how you met Jesus. Imagine sharing how things are really, really hard right now but how you are trusting God to help. Imagine faith leaping off the page of the Bible and right onto the pages of your life. Then, imagine them saying, “Mom, Dad this bad time has been the best time because we got to be together.” Just imagine.
Yes, these are really challenging times. Financially. Emotionally. Spiritually. Yes–but what if God is writing a new story that in the end is the stuff of legends? What if in a few years these days are some of the best memories? And it was all possible because we said, “Ok God–go ahead and use the delete key. I’m trusting that Your story is better than my story. I’m trusting You.” You see, God’s best use of the delete key is when He applies His grace to our sins, our mistakes, our misguided decisions, our oops. New pasts and new futures are His specialty and they are often written in crazy days like these. So, go ahead, press that delete key. Rest in Him. He’s got this.