Our kids at church have been learning about The Big God Story, a curriculum from Dr. Michelle Anthony. Whenever I teach, I also learn, but these lessons have shifted the way I think about God’s plans.
God has a plan, doesn’t He, for us? A good, prosperous, and hopeful plan (Jeremiah 29:11). In God, we have a predestined purpose (Ephesians 1:11). God also has a plan for the world, or rather, a PLAN. It’s a big plan (in case the all-caps didn’t convey that). A grand plan. Since He created it, there’s a Big God Story for the world and we’re all connected by it. We’re all part of it. The question, then, isn’t just, “God, what’s Your plan for me?” but “God, what’s my part in Your story?”
We all have a story. I love to say that God has a plan for you and for me. God has a story for each of us that He will unfold at just the right time. But as personal as God is, He is also grand and masterful. Like a master painter, God’s in the details and the big picture. And like a good Father, He’s inviting us into both the details and the big picture. The personal and individualized purpose, and the grand and masterful plan.
There a timeline in one of the kids’ rooms of The Big God Story with Old Testament people on top and Jesus’ life from the New Testament in the bottom (because we ran out of room on the top). We’re almost done with the curriculum. Our last lesson about Jesus’ return and our future with Him will be taught this coming Sunday, on Easter.
We started in January and the timing is just amazingly perfect because Easter is the climax of The Big God Story. We celebrate Jesus’ death and resurrection, His loving sacrifice that gave us hope and a way into eternal life with God. But it doesn’t end there. Easter should also remind us that the story – the Big God Story – isn’t over. It continues on with us. There is a crucial role we can step into, one God prepared for us to do – a la Mission Impossible – if we choose to do it.
Accepting Christ as our Savior doesn’t automatically put us in that role because we didn’t trade away our free will for salvation. We have to choose. Instead of asking God to come alongside our plans, we ask God how we can come alongside His plans. It’s a step a faith.It's a step of faith to ask God how we can come alongside HIS plans. Click To Tweet
I used to read and teach the stories in the Bible like I do any book, wondering what the story tells me about the character. Teaching The Big God Story made me re-frame my thinking process. It’s not about what the story says about the character, but what it says about the Author, about God.
What does the story of David and Goliath say about God? What does the story of the talking donkey, the angels appearing to shepherds, and Philip’s teleportation say about God? What does my story say about God?
Part of me just wants to stick to my own story. There’s a lot I haven’t figured out. But I think back to the different stories in the Bible, and they’re exciting, adventurous, and miraculous. The lives of these Bible people are so much richer and fuller because they took part in The Big God Story. They followed His call, rose to His challenges, failed but got back up, and believed one step of faith at a time. Today, their stories tell me about a beautiful, wonderful, loving God with hope and grace for anyone who wants it.
What if my story could do the same for someone else? What would happen if we all took the step of faith to come alongside God’s Big story?