My life has been changed forever by e-books! My favourite South African website is Kobo Books. The books are very reasonable and paying in local currency is a bonus. My latest purchase is Max Lucado’s, ‘When God’s story becomes your story’. It is on my Top Ten list. Max is a wonderful Christian author and I hope to inspire you with some wonderful quotations from his book.
I already had on my heart to share with you concerning God’s purpose for your life. So many of us rush ‘from the womb to the tomb’ (Max’s wonderful expression!) on the highway of life. At high speeds, life becomes a blur and our main concern seems to be to get to our destination in one piece. My question is: “Do you have a clear destination in sight or are you driving aimlessly in life?” I, too, was on the highway of life, planning a teaching career, but with no clear destination in sight, when my life was interrupted and I found myself on what I call “the scenic route of life”. It was at this junction that God’s story became my story.
This is how Max explains it: ‘Your story indwells God’s. This is the great promise of the Bible. It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ or got our hopes up, he had His eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone (Ephesians 1:11-12 The Message). Above and around us God directs a grander saga, written by His hand orchestrated by His will, unveiled according to His calendar. And you are a part of it. Your life emerges from the greatest mind and the kindest heart in the history of the universe: the mind and heart of God.’
In the book, there are two main characters, Paul the Apostle and Mandela. Before God could use both these men, they both found themselves in the hands of Almighty God. Paul was previously known as Saul, the one who persecuted Christians. After an encounter with God, it was not only his name that changed, but his whole life. He lived the rest of his days fulfilling the purposes of God for his life. ‘Before Paul was following God, God was leading Paul’. God had already equipped and qualified Paul for the role of taking the gospel to Mediterranean countries. ‘He’d learned Greek in the schools of Tarsus, tentmaking in the house of his father, the Torah at the feet of Gamaliel. And he learned about love when Jesus paid him a personal visit on Damascus highway’. God needed ‘a culture-crossing, Greek-speaking, border-passing, Torah-quoting, self-supporting missionary, so he gave grace to Paul, and Paul shared grace with the world’.
In the same way, God used 27 years of harsh prison life to shape the life of our very own Mandela. Â Max tells how Mandela ‘became particularly close to one jailer who, over two decades, read the Bible and discussed Scripture with Mandela’. Little did he know that he was ministering to the future President! Max compares the pre-prison Mandela with the man who was released: ‘Those who knew him well described the pre-prison Mandela as “cocky and pugnacious”. But the refined Mandela? “I came out mature,” he said.’ God needed ‘an educated, sophisticated leader who’d mastered the art of patience and compromise, so he tempered Mandela in prison’. God gave our country a deliverer as the world watched in awe.
Like Paul and Mandela, ‘your life is a crafted narrative written by God, who is working towards your supreme good’. God has planned your life before it began – your choice involves whether you will allow God’s story to become your story. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10