Today I want to begin with a section of the book, The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis. A strange way to start you might think. Hopefully you will see just how strange things can be.
Shasta is the boy. At this point in his life he is quite tired and lost, figuratively and literally. He is tired because he has been running and running and for all of his young life. He is lost because he hasn’t quite found his way. He is tired of being tired and he is tired of being lost and is feeling quite sorry for himself at the moment.
So he begins to cry.
He thinks himself to be alone. You can hear him sniffle as he wipes his nose. Why he must be “the most unfortunate boy that ever lived in the whole world!” Then out of the darkness he hears a voice. The voice asks him to share what’s troubling him…
“I was the lion.”
I had been struggling with the fact that my story wasn’t as pretty as some. Things hadn’t gone the way I had planned. And I was fighting it, hard. It is still a struggle. I would be lying if I said that it wasn’t. I would love to be able to say that our marriage is blameless, without blemish, we as parents always respond in a loving way, that we take every sin moment and turn it into a gospel moment.
But it is not so. We have experienced deep hurt, deep pain, deep regret. Out of the pain we react. We have to choose to forgive every day, to let each other off the hook, to extend grace. And sometimes we don’t. And it’s ugly. And oh the shame.
“I tell no-one any story but his own.”
This was what first struck me.
My story… no one else’s story… He only tells me my story…
Ahhh… My story isn’t supposed to look like your story. My story was written this way on purpose with a purpose.
I heard it again soon after that, but from a different source. God has a way of whispering it again and again until we are willing to accept, to carry it, hold it. Come to love it.
This time it was through the study of Esther. This precious woman had been asked a lot from God. And it wasn’t fair. First she is taken from her homeland, stripped of her Jewish heritage and nationality, then her parents are ripped from her, most likely murdered. She is left to be raised by her male cousin. And just when life started to settle down, she was taken from the only one who loved her and was thrown into a harem with hundreds of other young, scared, defenseless girls who she would be forced to go up against in a beauty contest. She was groomed for 12 months to be a sex object and became just that. She was chosen by the king to be his queen on the basis of her looks. And just when she had broken in her crown, she almost lost it, and her head, forced once again, to go before the king. Un-summoned.
See she had been called by God to plead for the lives of her people, the Jews.
It would be easy to look at Esther’s life and justly say, that’s not fair. How unfortunate. How could THAT be God? It’s just too hard. Life. Is. Just. Too. Hard.
And it is.
But then we hear the Voice coming out of the darkness… “I was the Lion.”
Nothing happens by chance, dear one. God has given you your story for a purpose. He sees you in the midst of the dysfunction, the sin, the pain. He is the One guiding you, protecting you, leading you to the broken places so that He can raise you up. Restore. Heal. Mold. Use… and all for His glory and purpose.
The problem is, we try to amputate our history from our destiny. * And we can’t. We walk in shame instead of grace. We try to cover it up instead of allowing it to be exposed by the Light. Our story will always be our story and that is exactly how God meant it to be.
Remember, God sees you past, present and future. The experiences He gives you whether they be painful or pleasant is so that you can fulfill the destiny He has for you. It’s not just for you. What He has given you, pain and all, is meant to be shared. If we kept it to ourselves then what good is it? How else is God going to use you?
The key to fulfilling your destiny is transparency. Otherwise what did it all mean? * It’s scary I know. But “who knows but you have come to (this) position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14) Who knows? God knows. And He wants you to know that He knows. Is it enough?
Ok, still not finished, might need a few more tries!
*Taken from the Beth Moore Study: Esther: It’s Tough Being a Woman.