My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. – 1 John 3:18-23
Have you ever looked at someone and saw something in them that they could not? For over 15 years I have had the opportunity to work with students. As a teacher and professor, I have been blessed with the opportunity to see these young men and women grow and develop academically, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. As I watched this development, I could see patterns emerge and strengths develop that would allow me to clearly see a future to which they were still oblivious. Why does it work that way? Why do others see it before we do? Wouldn’t it make it easier for everyone involved if we just knew what the story was supposed to be so we could get started working on it right away?
Of course, this is just a part of God’s plan for us. Any good story has to take a little time to develop. You have to have a compelling plot, interesting characters, villains to defeat, heroes to inspire, obstacles to overcome, and a few quirky incidents to help bring humor and perspective. To simplify this process would cause us to lose critical elements of the story. The plot would become simple, the leading man or lady would be one-dimensional, and the conclusion would be predictable. That’s a book you wouldn’t read or a film you wouldn’t watch, so why would we want that to be the life we hope to live?
As the author of your life, God knows you completely. Or as John puts it in verse 20, “God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.” He knew who you’d marry. He knew what your occupation would be. He knew where you were going to live. He knew who your best friend would be. He knew when you would be born. He knows when you’ll be returning home. As a believer, you already know this and are thankful that He’s in charge of those major life events. However, we must realize that there is far more to it.
God also knows why you went to the elementary school you attended, what teacher you were supposed to have and what the seating chart would be so you could learn what you needed to from that boy you sat next to in second grade. To us, that feels like one blip of one moment of time from years ago. It’s an insignificant fact; a brief sentence in the novel of our lives. But for the story to be told with accuracy and for the plot to be made complete, the Author must envision, design, and write it in its entirety. We may not see its value upon first glance, but once the connection is made, the significance of that moment will never be forgotten. It is truly a gift of God that His love for us is so great that He will turn chaos into unity, noise into harmony, confusion into certainty as He writes our story. Celebrate this gift as you turn the page and start your next chapter.