All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:16).
My step-father is in the cardiac ICU tonight, recovering from triple-bypass surgery. He is 78-years-old and considers himself to have lived a good, full life. A few days ago he asked everyone at his bedside, “Why me?” Not, “Why have I been singled out for this misery?” which was my own question under duress. Rather, he meant to inquire why he had been chosen to receive the best medical care in the history of the world, to have been virtually resurrected from several suspected heart attacks in just a few weeks. He thought, perhaps, God had something more for him to do, some special task, like a knight errant, that he must decode and fulfill. This seemed like an awful responsibility for a man who can’t yet sit up in a chair, and it set me pondering.
I believe in the sovereignty of God. I believe in the Lord who says, I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things (Isaiah 45:7). And, therefore, I believe that all our lives are in His hands. All our suffering is under His control. All our blessings fall like rain from Heaven. Although it is possible that we have a few shining moments which define and justify our existence, the sovereignty of God over every breath we take for twenty, fifty or a hundred years seems to argue that it all matters, every breath, every minute. Every moment is an opportunity for grace, an opportunity we either take or ignore. We either spend these moments loving and depending on the God who created us twice, or we spend them pursuing our own goals in our own strength.
Why me? What’s special about me? What am I supposed to do? Everything. We are supposed to do everything, because each of our lives is a story that God is telling. Each life says something about Him in a slightly different way, reveals His character at a slightly different angle, portrays some unique part of the spiritual battle which is Creation. Why do some live in luxury and comfort for eighty years and die peacefully in bed while others live a short, brutal existence? Because we each have our own story. You have your own story and so do I. So does every character in the Bible. And all the stories put together make up one vast story which brings the Author of Creation unseen glory. Our job is to live out the story we’ve been given with the greatest grace we can. Perhaps you don’t have one magical, mysterious quest which will make your whole life count. Perhaps your whole life is one magical, mysterious tale, with meaning beyond this world, a bedtime story for the angels. Walk through its pages with wonder.