He Knows the Next Page

My beautiful wife (and why she has stay married to me for more than 23 years is a mystery only God knows…it is evidence enough for me that there is a God J) wanted me to see a video about a song she really liked. Now, if you know my beloved bride, you know she’s not prone to being overzealous about things. She’s passionate and zealous in her pursuit of God and her caretaking of our family but not really about the things that I get wigged out by. Like music. Or sermons I hear. Or a random thought that I just have to share (as if it was of any value to anyone but me J). She’s much more controlled with her emotion. So, when she wants me to listen to something it’s gotta be good.

The song is called “In Color” by Jamey Johnson (and yes, to all our friends up north, it’s a country song ;-). It’s a song about a line he heard during the honoring of a long time country music icon. As they made the presentation, they flashed photos of his life in the background. Most of those photos were black and white because of the longevity of his career. The comment that either he heard or made was, “We’re seeing his life in black and white but he lived it in color”. What a great line! I love the imagery that line elicits. It conveys the fact that we benefit by reliving the past of someone who has accomplished much on this earth but that person actually had to live it. And, the truth is that sometimes that color wasn’t always pleasant. I’m sure if you were to talk to the honoree he would let you know that sometimes life was too vivid. A picture may paint a thousand words but a lifetime it cannot.

Well, that song and imagery came alive to me this morning, first during my devotional time in the book of I Kings, and then as I listened to a friend share his observations about a story from 2 Kings. The thought that came to me was that whenever we read something in the Bible, especially something of historical content (like a war that was going to be fought by a few men against a large Army or weak band of men against giants), we have the privilege of knowing what’s on the next page. We have the perspective of looking at the past and knowing the outcome. In this case, we see that a king who fretted going into war (like Jehoshaphat) even when following the LORD’s command, forgot who was on his side. They won! But, put yourself in their position at that time. They were just like we are at this or any moment. Maybe we’re facing something that seems pretty scary. Maybe it’s related to our employment, our living situation, an impending move to another city or nation, an illness or even death (personally or of a loved one). There was One who knew what was written on the next page in His story, yet he had to live it out in color. It was Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man. If he could carry out the contents of his story knowing the pain and suffering He was going to endure on that page, then you can go into your situation fully confident that God knows the next page of your life as well.

Years from now when the story of your life is written and revealed, you’ll be able to look back and remember how you felt on the page while knowing what happened when the page turns. But, now, the only one who knows what is on the next page is the One who’s already written our story. That should give us some comfort because we know that He is a good Author. And, no matter what the storyline holds for your part, play it well. Let the story be written and as each sub-plot unfolds, we can look back and say, others’ saw our life in black and white, but we’re seeing it in color!

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