tuesday night, i responded to an invitation to a private screening of a movie to be released nationwide in april. the screening was for pastors and church leaders, to encourage us to promote the film, which is called “letters to God.”
the movie is inspired by a true story of a young boy named tyler, who is fighting cancer. he is an amazing kid whose faith will not dim under any circumstance. his courage and his witness are contagious.
as i watched, there was one moment among them that stood out to me, partly because of something i had been reading earlier in the day.
in one tender moment, tyler looks at his mom maddie, and says, “i’m glad God made you to be my mom.”
what a powerful and awesome insight and statement of truth. it certainly doesn’t dull the pain of watching your child struggle with cancer, but it does remind one of something ultimate: God is in control.
and over everything.
i’m reading a book called, the me i want to be, by john ortberg (see link on the right). in his first chapter, ortberg teaches this same truth.
first he quotes ephesians 2.10: for we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared us in advance for us to do.
then he writes…
you are not your handiwork; your life is not your project. your life is God’s project. God thought you up, and he knows what you were intended to be. he has many good works for you to do, but they are not the kind of “to do” lists we give spouses or employees. they are signposts to your true self.
your ‘spiritual life’ is not limited to certain devotional activities that you engage in. it is receiving power from the Spirit of God to become the person God had in mind when he created you – his handiwork. (p.14)
if you didn’t get all that, i wish you would go back and read it again right now.
the person God had in mind.
in this first week of january, we’re all thinking about new year’s resolutions, which are more than likely the same ones we gave up on the second week of january last year. as i get older – and hopefully wiser (that should be the reward for gray hair, shouldn’t it?) – i am learning that our relationship with God is not about resolutions. it’s not about what we decide we will do for God. not about the me i had in mind.
no, a powerful relationship with God is all about recognizing the me God has in mind. and remembering who is in control.
and over everything.
tyler thanked God that God had chosen maddie to be his mom. what a gift that must have been to her, to help her realize that God really is ultimately in control. that she – maddie – really is God’s handiwork, not her own.
i really hope and pray this same understanding for you. God really does love you, and really has mapped out an amazing plan for your life. i hope this truth will give you peace and hope as you enter 2010. and to have the courage to be the you God has in mind.