Let’s start out with a quick writing lesson. All stories need a plot. What is plot in literature? It is the sequence of events that make up a storyline. In fairy tales, plot takes place between “once upon and time” and “They lived happily ever after.”
- Guy and Girl meet.
- Guy thinks Girl is cute. Girl thinks Guy is cute.
- Guy and Girl begin to date.
- Girl meets Guy’s perfect brother but still only has eyes for Guy.
- Guy proposes. Girl says yes.
- Girl gets deam job offer overseas.
- Guy already has best job ever.
- There is a standstill. Wedding is off.
- Girl moves.
- Two broken hearts pour themselves into their great jobs.
- Guy loses his sense of smell, use of his thumbs, and his job two weeks after perfect brother is hired by the NFL.
- Guy calls out one name over and over in the grip of agony — Girl’s.
- Girl learns of this through her best friend’s social media .
- Girl, who still loves Guy, now faces a conflicted heart and a dilemma.
- Will true love prevail? Will she return to Guy and care for him until death does them part? Will he attempt heroism and tell Girl to marry his perfect brother instead? Whatever the answers are, we have a resolution — “The End.”
- Sometimes we get an added bonus: an epilogue. Perfect brother pays for Guy’s new robotic appendages, marries Girl’s best friend, and a movie deal is made for Guy’s story, resulting in numerous job offers. What happened with Girl? Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out. 🙂
(Well, thank you for humoring me and please keep reading this post.)
Authors have the ability to entertain with plot and resolutions, leaving the reader feeling satisfied because conflicts are solved and wrapped up neatly. Although a reader may have preferred or anticipated another wrap-up, at least they know the end of the story. However, life isn’t always wrapped up. We may not understand why a conflict took place and how it will be resolved.
I have recently completed a Bible study by Jen Wilkin and also had the opportunity to hear her speak. In both situations, she discussed the fact that God is not a limited being who is bound by time. Indeed, He is limitless. Unlike our Creator, “we are limited
creatures with numbered days and because of that, we don’t always get a plot resolution.” We might be left with a cliffhanger that has no foreseen sequel.
Most every believer has experienced devastating or dire circumstances that make us cry out to the author and finisher of our faith, “Why? What are you doing?” These questions force a decision upon us. Do we let confusion, anger, sorrow, and the like consume us and take over our character? Do we process these feelings through the filter of faith and allow the author to continue His story through us?
When your plot includes difficulties, how well do you trust your Author? Take a look at parts of His bio:
- Jehovah: possesses all authority; self-complete Exodus 3:13-15
- Infinite: beyond measurement Romans 11:33
- Omnipotent: all powerful; we are sustained by Him Jeremiah 32:17-18
- Good: kind; caring; full of favor Psalm 119-65-72
- Love: personal; intimate I John 4:7-10
- Jehovah-jireh: provider; Genesis 22:9-14
- Immutable: perfect and unchanging Psalm 102: 25-28
- Just: fair; equitable; holy Psalm 75:1-7
- Omniscient: all-knowing Psalm 139-1-6
The list could keep going, but I’ll stop where I started. In the story of life, we have limited knowledge, but God doesn’t. Combine that with His love, justice, goodness, and all the other traits mentioned above, then wonder why we limited humans so easily default to fear and anxiety over faith.
Think of Job. The Author’s description of him reads like this, “There is none on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” (Job 1: 8) Yet as the plot thickens, Job’s life is turned upside down. Job never knew the reason why God allowed trials to come his way. However, thousands of years later, we do. We’re part of the on-going epilogue in Job’s story.
In my upcoming sequel, the protagonists struggle to understand “the why” about each other. I allow them to muddle through misunderstandings, feeling hurt and confused; yet I also have the resolution in sight. The circumstances they find themselves in bring them to a crises of faith necessary for “The End” that the author had in mind. Hum? If a limited being gets this concept for developing a fiction story, how much more should this limited being trust the Limitless Author of our Faith in real life?
If you would like to do a study on the attributes of God, here are two links you can click for resources I recommend.
- Bible Navigators: Praying the Names of God https://tinyurl.com/y7wkh4jw
- Jen Wilkin resources: https://tinyurl.com/y7v673hs