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 why he needed it, 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 your “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. As I look back over the last year, I am still amazed at the way things were shutdown. I was even more amazed as I was forced to go to my calendar and delete things. On my personal calendar and on the church calendar, one by one, meetings and events were deleted. It was difficult for me…it was difficult for us and in the midst of it all, I almost lost sight of the big picture…a picture so big only God could be holding the brush.
One day I found myself staring at the calendar like a blank canvas and I realized what had been planned didn’t matter anymore. But here is the really, good part. The space that was cleared left plenty of room–room for God to write a new story. A different story. A better story. Things like a new Wednesday program for our church was born. In the white space created by that largely empty calendar, Grits was born. The bottom line is without God orchestrating the delete button, things that needed to change would have stayed the same. A new men’s, ladies, and children’s program would not have been born. And a year’s worth of Grit’s 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’ve heard stories of different ways God used that hot mess to rewrite lives. We saw what could happen if we started to freely, to openly, invite Him to use the delete button and rewrite the stories of our lives. We discovered opportunities, adventures that suddenly filled the pages of our lives. A walk to the park became a safari. Homemade pizza night became an edible art gallery. The dining room table was cleared, and we pulled out the family games that had stayed in the closet too long.
Cards were written, calls made, and stories shared. Think about it. Remember how the kids’ faces lit up as they heard again how you met each other or how you met Jesus? Think of the new stories yet to be told as we look back when things were so hard, and we all learned how to trust God for help. We saw faith leaping off the page of the Bible and right onto the pages of our lives. If we asked, we might hear our kids tell us “Mom, Dad that bad time was the best time because we got to be together.” How about that?
Yes, those really were challenging times. Financially. Emotionally. Spiritually. And honesty…they still are. 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 specialties, and they are often written in crazy days like these. So, go ahead, press that delete key. Rest in Him. He’s got this. Bro. Dewayne