The Stress of an Unfinished Story

Feb 25, 2013Find joy today


I like “the end.” Don’t you? It’s closure, folks. A grand finale. It’s how I can continue on because I know one thing has ended and another has begun. I like my current story finished.

But God often puts us in the midst of unfinished stories, doesn’t He?

We struggle in a marriage that’s just not “there” yet. Our child sabotages himself and his future, opening the door for a bleak ending. We can’t write that check to pay that nagging bill. We still have that awful habit we’d swore we’d overcome. We can’t seem to be happy even though we truly want to be, but our circumstances keep messing with that happiness. Our prayer for that prodigal goes unanswered for decades. That wildly successful business we imagined has instead crashed and burned.

Have I touched any buttons?

Our goal isn’t to see resolution. It’s to be faithful in the One Story God has mapped for us. Click to tweet this. We will live in tension every moment we walk this earth. We may even die, not seeing a particular dream come true. And we’d be in good company.

All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them” (Hebrews 11:13-16).

You may be living in the tension of an unfinished story right now. Take heart. The patriarchs did too. Heroes of the faith lived in that same tension, between the now and the not yet. God is creating a masterpiece plan, weaving it beautifully out of all our unfinished stories. He finishes them beautifully on the other side.

I believe heaven will be full of aha. (Click to tweet).

We’ll have conversations with strangers (who will become fast friends) about those ahas. The chatter will be peppered with, “What I didn’t know then was that God was doing __________.” And we’ll share with joy and awe.

I have unfinished stories aplenty. They fill me with ache. To be honest, I wish God would “the end” them right now so I could put them behind me. But where would the faith be? If everything were answered, I wouldn’t need to depend so much on God. Yes, it’s bewildering. Yes, I don’t like it. Yes, I’m tired. But it’s precisely in those times that I actually see my need for Jesus.

Mind if I pray for you?

Jesus, help me live in the tension of an unfinished story. Give me Your perspective in the delayed answer to my prayers. Help me to rely on You when I’d rather make things happen. I want to live for the “aha” of heaven instead of trying to bring heaven to earth in my need for control. I need You, Jesus. Take the pen and write my story the way You see fit.

(You can pin the prayer by using the pin button on the top of this post.)

What about you? What’s your current unfinished story?