I’ve been struggling a lot lately with what a good friend calls “bad story.” Essentially, bad story is what I am under when I allow insecurities, lies, or the shadows of the past to dominate my thinking and identity, and convince me that I am anything other than the precious daughter God sees. In His sight, I am pure, prized, redeemed, righteous, and worthy of all the blessings He bestows on His children. This is the Gospel, this is good news, this is good story. This, my friends, is the battle of all our lives…to fight off the lies of the critics and the Enemy, and many times, our own. The loudest voice of all can be the critic inside our heads, and that critic can only be silenced by grace of God. I’ve learned I can only extend it to others as I learn to extend it to myself.
It’s a little bit like a dance, a simile I love to use for our relationships with the Lord and our journey through life. He takes a step, and we respond. The moment we step away or fail to follow His lead is the moment our dance loses its elegance and grace. The only way to continually stay tuned to Him is to practice looking in His eyes, following His leads, and choosing to believe His truth.
As Margaret Manning Shull of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries wrote, “Becoming a black-belt in karate or a seasoned dancer doesn’t happen instantaneously. Instead, each day offers multiple opportunities to practice whatever it is we want to become….If the grace-full life of Christ is the intended goal for those who claim to follow him, each day presents the opportunity to practice—to grow in the very grace Christ embodies. Each day brings circumstances and events that call for a response. Instead of fear, there can be empathy and hope. Instead of pride, there can be humility and hospitality. Instead of bitterness and resentment, there can be forgiveness or sacrificial giving. There is always a choice. And thankfully, there is always one who extends flawlessly the very grace we need ourselves.” I want to live under good story, to dance the dance of grace with my Father, and to help the world to do the same.
***Photo Credits: lovedoes.org