Our Unfolding Days

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:16, ESV)

I am often asked, “What are you going to shoot today?” A curious question that reveals how our human nature longs to know the end of the story before it ever begins.

Touring pros may have a target score in mind, but predicting a score is like playing roulette. You might hit the number now and then, but nothing is a guarantee. Still, if we could name our score, then the challenge of each shot, the internal surge of energy, and the expectancy we experience on the course would disappear.

The desire to know what the future holds is a constant life challenge as well. If God has already formed our days, then why doesn’t he give us a heads-up so that we can make the right choices on our journey?

The Bible is a book with a beginning and an end. Unlike our ancestors in the faith, we can open it and read any part of the story at any time. The fact that we have access to the end of God’s story only intensifies our desire to know what is ahead for us personally.

In the Hebrew Scriptures, the word for book is sefer, and in the Greek New Testament Scriptures, the word is biblion. Both refer to a scroll. The characteristics of a scroll are much different than books we have today. A scroll has knobs on each side and you can only see what’s written as it unrolls. You can’t skip ahead to a future section; it has to unfold one line at a time. Every word in a scroll is connected to what has been seen and leads directly to what is revealed next, in its proper place and time.

God’s plans for our lives have been written in the scroll and must unfold in their proper place and time. We don’t get to see what hasn’t been unrolled yet. We need to trust that our present moments will connect to what is coming next, in God’s timing and wisdom.

We also must not forget that we are active participants in the unfolding. It’s essential that we choose to listen to God’s Word and follow him. The Hebrew word for listen (Shema) also means to obey. Obedience is our responsibility. Disobedience turns us away from God’s Word and the fullness of his will for our lives. The unfolding of God’s plans may be delayed by our disobedience, but it is his kindness that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4).

Let us set aside our need to know the future and choose to live in the present moment of God’s will for us today. We don’t need to know the end of our story. Trust Jesus. He is turning the scroll and revealing our stories in his perfect timing.

Tracy Hanson
November 29, 2018
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