Depending on the day and the girls, I am grandmother to either Princess Arial, Snow White, Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Merida (Brave), or to Woody, Jessie, Belle, or Goofy. I never know until I see the costume, and then I must quickly slip into the story or face the frustration that seizes the faces of my curly-headed granddaughters because they are not being recognized for who they are. They know they are not normal. My daughter has some really good thoughts about why and so I will leave that blog post to her.
We’ve forgotten the real story.
We grown-up women, on the other hand, forget that we are not normal. We’ve somehow slipped out of the grandest story of all. We’ve entered a story of our own working that is not so grand or delightful. We’ve forgotten the real story, written by our Father, in which we, his daughters, bravely fight real battles, marry real princes that may or may not be so charming, raise royal heirs, are transformed into someone much better than we are, and do things that will really matter, perhaps now, but that will surely count immensely at the end of the story.
Forgetting is normal.
This forgetting is normal. That’s why, in the New Testament, we are told, over and over, to put off and get rid of the old self and put on our real identity (Eph. 4:22; Col. 3:8-9; Jas. 1:21; 1 Pet. 2:1). That’s why we are told to remember the story that we heard (1 Cor. 15:1-2; Eph. 2:10-13; 2 Tim. 2:8; 2 Pet. 3:1-7) – because it’s a real, true story and we are really part of it. That’s why we are to really act the part (1 Cor. 16:13-14; Phil. 1:27; Jas. 1:25) just like my granddaughters do when they, immersed in their lesser but still grand story, aim their arrow, pull their bowstring, gallop away on their horse, or lay quietly waiting to be kissed by their prince.
What is this real story?
Former Westminster professor, Edmund P. Clowney rightly says:
The story is God’s story. It describes His work to rescue rebels from their folly, guilt, and ruin. And in His rescue operation, God always takes the initiative.” It is a story “where the end is anticipated from the beginning, and where the guiding principle is not chance or fate, but promise.” It is a story – a plan of salvation – in which God has shaped history for “a real and ultimate purpose” that “centers on His Son. … “is by His Son and for His Son.”
Yet while the story is God’s story, and salvation is His work, men and women are not just spectators. To be sure, there are times when God’s people are told to stand still and see the deliverance of the Lord (Ex. 14:13-14). But they are also commanded by God to leave their homes and become pilgrims, to march through waterless wastes, and to fight … The grace of God in delivering and leading them calls them to faith in Him, to the commitment of whole-hearted trust. Because God promises what He will do, His people may joyfully confess that “salvation comes form the LORD” (Jon. 2:9). But since God does not do all that he has promised at once, the faith of His people is tried and tested. Their longing becomes intense. At times the promise seems not only distant but illusory. They fall victim to unbelief and cry, “is the LORD among us or not?” (Ex. 17:7). …
But Clowney reminds us:
God’s drama is not a fiction in its slow unfolding, or in its staggering realization. The story of the Bible is real history, wrought in the lives of hundreds and thousands of human beings.
So in our world, where death and sin reign, we must hold on to the real and glorious story and endure. We must fight sin, and we must fight to believe the real story. We must live out our purpose in the story. And that purpose is not trivial. It is to believe and live and act in a way that proves we see God as He really his. It is to believe and live and act in a way that shows others how valuable God is. It is NOT a normal life for we are NOT normal people.
Praying that you will trust the faithfulness of God’s promise that has already come true through His Son and that you will become who you are in God’s true story.
Clowney, Edmund P., The Unfolding Mystery: Discovering Christ in the Old Testament, Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishers, 1988, pp. 11-13.