By Eric Boerhout
“Whoever wants to save his life should lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake should win it.” Matt 16:25
Each of us has its own unique life story. It begins completely beyond our own control and will. The start is written by other people’s actions and motives. Hopefully, your life begins with a loving dad and mom. Hopefully you were born in a loving home in a safe country full of opportunities. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Your life may have started in an environment of struggle, strife and broken relationships. Maybe it was not so loving in your home, or your country was not so safe to live in. We all have a very different beginning to our life stories, depending on the circumstances that made their mark on it.
But no matter how the start has been, everyone eventually comes to a point where the pen becomes more and more your own. The moment when you yourself decide how the story will continue. Then it is your own thoughts, motives and actions that decide how the story should proceed. For me, this point came when I was 12 years old. I was born and raised in a loving family who gave me everything I needed. But, as many may recognize in themselves, I sought to take control of life to move in a different direction. I thought that if I could do what I wanted, freedom and happiness would be the result – my life was filled with drugs, parties and alcohol. Already at the age of 18 I became a father and had to be responsible for the consequences of my actions. I had taken control of my life story and what was written down was now a mess.
I had taken control of my life story and what was written down was now a mess.
I think we all get to that point in our lives when we have to look back and think about the history we have written. Of course, there are many things we couldn’t control – things that rushed right into our lives and caused a huge impact. Other people’s actions, illnesses and disasters that left large ink stains on the page. But we all have a choice how to react and respond in the middle of the storms. And then pick up the pen again and continue writing where the waves of life placed us.
And then pick up the pen again and continue writing where the waves of life placed us.
When I looked at the mess I left behind, I realized that I would not be able to arrange this on my own. This is where God came into my story. He turned out to be a loving father, a friend and savior who did not get angry when he looked at my past. He was neither shocked nor overwhelmed by the mess I put up with. Instead, He took me by the hand and asked me if we could continue to write the story together.
No matter what your life looks like today – or what you have written so far – you can choose to leave control of your life to God and continue to write the story with Him. The Bible says in Jeremiah 29:11 that God wants to bless your life.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 ESV
– That the congregation in Sweden should hand over control to God and let Him lead.
– That many who do not believe should turn to God and find Him in the midst of the storms.
Eric Boerhout, Sverigebönen 24-7