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The North American Christian Conference was held in Anaheim, Ca. this year, so Cindy and I were able to attend. The yearly event is for Christians to come together and be refreshed. The theme this year was, “A better Story.” And that is what we heard, personal stories from Christians around the world of how Christ’s great love for the lost is saving the world.
Why does the Christian story matter? Job 14:7-9 gives us a clue, “For there is hope for a tree, when it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and its shoots will not fail. Though its stump dies in the dry soil, at the scent of water it will flourish and put forth sprigs like a plant.” The phrase, “At just the scent of water it will flourish,” is my point.
We all have stories of how Jesus has changed our life, and many of those stories contain pain. But it is wrong to think that the only story I have to tell is one of happiness. If God wants to write a story of pain in my life to further the kingdom, what does it matter? For the telling of that story may well be the scent that causes another to flourish.
When King David was bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, “Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled” (2 Sam. 6:6). Uzzah thought God needed a little help with the covenant, so he reached out to help God. In the next verse we read the act was irreverent, and Uzzah died next to the ark.
This week a friend sent me a text which said, “I’ve read the story and God wins in the end.” He was not the author of the saying, but it is a good reminder; our God is large and in charge.
We have this underlying fear that God will be bested in the end; he will not be able to fulfill his promises. When that little shoulder sitting demon whispers such doubts in our ear, we, like Uzzah, reach out to steady God’s ark by thinking, “God needs our help, God needs our wisdom, or God needs out input.” The resurrection of Jesus teaches us God does not need our help.