I’ve always loved to read. I have fond memories of my Grandma Broadway teaching me and the two of us sitting on her porch swing, reading and swinging for hours.
Back then it was the Cat in the Hat. As I grew, I moved on to Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew. The older I got the bigger my books got.
I used to read to be entertained, and there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing wrong with mindless reading. We need to do mindless things every once in a while.
But now I mostly read for deeper reasons. To be challenged. Changed. Mentored. Inspired.
The Bible is my go-to book, and I read it (almost) daily before I’ll open anything else. If you don’t do that, let me encourage you to start. If you’re overwhelmed by the sheer size of it and don’t know where to begin, there are reading plans you can find for all stages and phases of life. Just pick one and read it. It’ll change your life forever to find out who He is and what He’s provided and who He’s made you to be.
Jesus is our example, this we know. But after Him, I also love to study the lives of the men and women of faith in the Bible like Joseph and Esther and Elijah and Paul.
And I love to read biographies of people who’ve accomplished great things for God. Hudson Taylor is a favorite and I read his story every year. Then there’s George Mueller, E. Stanley Jones, Smith Wigglesworth, and Rees Howells to name a few.
When I read of their adventures and what was achieved for the kingdom of God, it inspires me to run harder towards the finish line where I’ll stand before Him and give an account of my life and hopefully hear, “Well done.”
As I read their books, this question resounds in my soul –
“What will be written of my life?”
Every detail of my life was already written in Your book;
You established the length of my life before I ever tasted the sweetness of it. Psalm 139:16
When pen is put to paper in heaven, what will the story of my life in God say?
I think the book David refers to in Psalm 139 is the book of our potential. God, who can see down through eternity, writes a book of the potential of our lives before we’re ever born.
Now, whether or not we actually accomplish what’s in that book is completely up to us.
We can choose to obey. To persevere. To overcome. To conquer.
We either determine to walk on the water in the midst of the storm or to focus on the wind and waves and sink in fear.
We don’t have to praise God in the prison, but we won’t see the chains fall off if we don’t.
We have to decide whether or not to press through the challenges or give up and quit. To live with the awareness that we’ll give an account for every action and word or live as though that day doesn’t really matter.
We control if our lives have eternal value or if they don’t and whether or not we fulfill our eternal purpose.
There will be hundreds (maybe even thousands or more) of opportunities to quit and fall short of reaching the potential God has written in our books.
Life in God can be difficult. It will take strength and stamina and determination and grit if we’re going to fully live the adventure. (Thank God He’s given us all we need in Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit living within.)
He wouldn’t have called us overcomers if there weren’t obstacles to overcome. He wouldn’t have called us more than conquerors if there were no battles to fight.
There will be a myriad of monkey wrenches thrown in our paths meant to get us to quit.
Don’t do it. Don’t quit. Don’t stop. Keep going and press through the obstacles. It will be worth it in the end.
I want my life story to be worth reading in heaven. Do you? What will be written of your life?