Tuesday, May 14, 2013


I’m amazed how Bible stories fit the same basic format of those we read and write in today’s world. Each of God’s stories contains drama, strong characters, internal and external conflict, and resolution—the exact elements of a good story. No wonder the Bible has been so popular all these centuries. Who can resist His Word?

Conflict and Resolution

While writing my new book, my mind whirls with ideas about the main character. What external problems will he face? The harsh, Alaskan weather? Getting lost in the woods? Trying to avoid the authorities after ditching Juvenile Detention School? He faces internal problems, too. Wanting to protect his twin sister while feeling like a failure. Grieving over his grandmother’s death. Wondering why God has abandoned him along with his family.

While creating my true-to-life story, I ask myself, “What if?” What if he can’t protect his sister when they meet a bear in the woods? What if the snow doesn’t stop? What if the campers they meet are bad guys?

In real life, we often wonder about the unknowns, too. As a kid, I asked a lot of What Ifs about my home life. I’d watch a movie and wonder if the scenario could happen in my own home. I would sometimes feel the tension at mealtimes and wonder what I’d do if my parents divorced. I’d ask, “What If my twin sister and I are separated?” As we all know, youngsters tend to be overly-dramatic in their thinking.

In real life, we don’t—or at least shouldn’t—agonize over the What Ifs of life. Rather, we focus instead—or should—on the reality of our conflicts and how to resolve them. Life isn’t a fiction book. But fiction books can portray real life in such clarity that the readers can actually see themselves as the stories’ characters. That’s the power of story—whether the final resolution is happy or sad.

God is the best story teller because His stories are true. His book has been the number one seller for decades. His stories have changed the lives of millions because the readers see themselves as the same kind of sinners in need of salvation as those portrayed in the Bible. God’s stories are about Man against Nature (Noah, the disciples, Paul), Man against Man (Cain against Abel, Israelites against Egyptians), Man against God (Jonah, Saul, the Pharisees). They include action, emotion, and final redemption.

God knows our stories—the details of every conflict we face. He guides us through them and brings us His perfect resolution—His redemption—because He knows how the story will end.

Lord, thank You for redeeming us from the conflicts that occur because of our sins. We don’t have to ask What If  because we know You have the perfect resolution for our situation. Help us remember Your promises. In Jesus’ name, amen.   

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