I have an enemy. Someone (something) that haunts me, that waits for me every time I open my laptop. This might seem like a strange opening for an article on this website, but I just need to talk about it for a bit. And, since I’m the Director of the Communications Team, I get to write about whatever I want. Stick with me though, I think you’ll be able to relate.
So. My enemy—no, my nemesis. The bane of writers everywhere, the monster we must confront. It is (as you have no doubt surmised) a blank Word document, with blinking cursor. The cursor sits there. Mocking me. Asking me why I haven’t written anything yet, suggesting that perhaps I might rather check Twitter or Instagram instead.
“Now, Jack” I can hear you say, “aren’t you being a bit dramatic?”
But from another point of view that I’m going to insist is the correct one, not even a little bit. That cursor, with every blink, draws my attention to the empty page, reminding me that I haven’t done what I’m supposed to. People are waiting on me. I have to write 700 words and every single one of them is, as yet, unwritten.
Now I’m going to do a neat pastor trick and ask, “What’s the blinking cursor in your life?” Is there a person, a to-do list on your fridge, a stack of rejection letters—something or someone that keeps reminding you of a part of your story yet to happen…and to be told. Maybe your unwritten story intimidates you, or maybe it inspires you to see all the possibilities. In the year ahead, what story are you hoping to see unfold?
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28 (NIV)
I think we anticipate and fear the future precisely because of how much potential there is for both joy and pain. But as Paul tells us in Romans 8:28, we can accept both without fear. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
God doesn’t just do triage, patch us up—fix us as best he can—and then leave. God doesn’t do damage control in our lives. He doesn’t respond to our sin and pain and problems with a shrug, saying “I’ll do what I can, but no promises.” No, Paul says that God will work ALL things for good. And when God calls something good, he doesn’t mean “okay,” or “as good as can be hoped for under the circumstances.” When God calls something “good,” it’s better than anything we could accomplish. God working our lives together for good doesn’t mean a soft crash landing, it means that he will bring something beautiful into our lives.
Yet to Come
That’s why at Seacoast we like to say that the best is yet to come. For us, that isn’t a syrupy cliché—it’s the truth. If you follow God, what he is going to bring into your life will be better than what you ever could have achieved on your own. The story he is writing is the one we have wanted to write all along. And, in the end, our last chapter will be beyond anything we can imagine.
And when we see the completed work, when no more words remain unwritten, I believe that we will say, with God, “It is very good.”