During a particularly savage period of my life, God spoke to me in the most bizarre of ways – He simply said,
“What’s it like to live your life, right now, Steve?”
As the Holy Spirit ushered these words through my consciousness I came to an instant of laughter. What God had just said to me evoked the surreal. I was an actor in my own life, playing a role in the broader landscape of my life, and I was but one actor. Just as others are actors in their lives and my role interacts with theirs in the meta-story of life.
But God was communicating something else, also.
Suddenly there was a divine appreciation for what I was going through. God communicated that he knew all too well what I was going through.
At once I could see how important my life was in the broader context of things. It is true that my life was no more important than that of the other actors, but it is equally true that only I can play my role, as only they can play their roles. God needs us all to play the role he has given us.
As I pondered the question a few hours later, whilst gardening, I suddenly began to realise the broader perspective.
God wasn’t punishing me by giving me a harrowing season for no reason. On the contrary, God had sufficient confidence in me to be able to be vulnerable enough in order to achieve his objective – which is almost always unknown to us even until later, and sometimes years later.
But that day, whilst I didn’t see the vision of God plainly, or my whole role in context of the objective, I was given sufficient hope that I was standing on holy ground. As a believer, this assurance is probably all we need. Whenever we know God is in it, we are prepared to step forth in faith. But it still requires a mindset of maturity. Otherwise, we are compelled by the freedom we have to choose to ‘hear’ God differently, i.e. to satisfy our own devices.
Not only will we answer to God on the appointed day, if we neglect the role we have been given we will not have God’s blessing in this life.
Be assured, God will carry us through everything life puts us through. As Sir Winston Churchill put it, “If you’re going through hell, keep going!”
Only you can play your role. Nobody else can. It’s a responsibility, but it’s also a privilege.
So what is it like to live your life? What unique challenges have beset you? What resentments are you bearing up under? And what privilege do you have in getting on with the job that God has given you – a job no one else can do.
God knows what it is like to live our lives; the struggles, the joys, the frustrations, the ecstasies, the boredom, the fear, etc. God understands our lives more intimately than we understand. God is a Friend for every occasion.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.