Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Manuscript (04/29/10)
TITLE: Text of Life
By Anita van der Elst
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Have you shared your book with them?
My book? What do you mean my book? Iím not a writer!
Your life is being written moment by moment, child. What youíve experienced from the day you were born until now is your book.
Hmm, Iíve never thought of it that way. But no, I havenít really wanted to do that, share my book with anyone.
ItísÖ well, for one thing, itís too depressing.
Who wants to hear about my parentsí alcoholism, the abuse, my dabbling in the occult and my promiscuity? Before I met you, Lord, my life was a real mess, a downhill slideÖhardly inspiring or uplifting. Iíd rather talk about You, Lord.
My darling child, I do want you to talk about Me, and you must. But I have a question for you. Your life story is depressing for whom?
Why, for anyone Iíd try to talk to, of course.
Delightful child, are you sure the real reason isnít because youíre the one itís too depressing for?
Whoa! You sure know how to ask the right questions, Lord!
I know the right answers too, daughter.
Iím listening, Lord!
The people in your sphere of influence may not read my Word, but they do read you. They will relate to you when you are honest about your past, when you donít deny or discount it, or dismiss it as having no bearing on the present, or assume it will be depressing to them.
When they know what youíve been through, theyíll be able to see the clearer how Iíve made all the difference. Even the women at church have secrets they hide because they think no one will understand. What would it mean to them to know someone like you who has been there?
If Iím going to be honest, Lord, I have to admit that I donít want to know their stories. Whenever I hear them talking about their pasts Iím impatient for them to just move onÖto get over it. Is that a lack of compassion on my part?
Iím aware of that in you, my daughter. And the answer is, yes. But it begins much closer to home.
Are you saying I havenít been compassionate towards myself?
Now youíve caught onto that twist in your plot! And hereís an even better twist: My compassion will flow through you to others, as you are willing to receive it for yourself.
I think I know why Iíve been afraid to open up like that. What if they turn their backs on me, see me as the scum I know Iíve been and decide Iím not worthy of their friendship?
Oh, I know, some may turn awayóI donít force anyone to do anything they donít want to. But I have established a mandate for other believers to be supportive when you open the book of your heart. I assure you, there will be some who welcome you, who want to read your story. And I will lead you to them.
Precious child, take a look in My Book. This is something King David discovered. See here? ďGod rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to His eyes.Ē You might have noticed that My Book is full of stories that could cause stomachs to churn and hair to curl or stand straight up on end. But David and many others recognized how important it was to record not only the good, but also the bad and the ugly. Youíve been able to relate to that, havenít you?
Oh, yes, Lord! I have! I love Your Word so much!
So, child of mine, how can I rewrite the text of your life, if youíre not willing to open the rough draft?
This will not be easy but Iím willing to submit my manuscript to you, Lord, by sharing it with those who desperately need to see it.
They will be blessed, as will you, my daughter!
(Scripture from 2 Samuel 22:21-25, in The Message Bible)
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