I heard someone recently say that one of the hardest lessons that we have to learn is that we are not the hero of everyone else’s story. It reminds me to not think myself too important or valuable in the lives of others, and to appreciate those that do enjoy me being a character within the book of their lives.
As I read Psalm 22 this morning, I am tempted to internalize this Word of God and try to make it about myself. I read the first few verses and think about how challenging this season of life has been in many ways:
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help? Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer. Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief.
Psalms 22:1-2 NLT
I even find myself playing the victim in my own mind as I read and contemplate the Word of God, considering what has been hard or troubling or difficult. It’s almost like I think of “heroes” like David in the Bible and I want to interject myself into the story — making it a first person movie about the hero that I could be rather than a revelation to me of my God who loves me.
And when my perspective is self-centered, when I let myself become the hero or the villain of my life — it truly does feel like He doesn’t answer — not because He is far away, but because I am turned away from Him. He is the hero, and we are truly the ones in need of rescue. “He resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
As we continue reading Psalm 22, it should become evident that this story is not about us. There are lines in this Psalm that we can associate with and contemplate and understand — but some verses go far beyond our common experienced. Not many of us can see all of our own bones or have had our hands and feet pierced and our clothes gambled for. We also begin to realize that this is not just another Psalm by David telling of a dark time in his own life where he had to rely upon God yet again to see him through. No, this is clearly a Psalm inspired and written long before Jesus’s birth to tell of the Messiah to come, and for us to look back at in awe and wonder.
It is good that there is much to the Word of God that I can understand and comprehend through shared experiences and commonalities — because even though God is Almighty and His ways are higher than ours, He reaches down from heaven in beautiful ways to be close and not far — that is the very point of the Good News of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
So, Lord, come be the hero of our story — and help us to not be the villain of anyone else’s story today. Help us to love and serve each other and bring YOU honor and glory. Amen.
- Psalm 22
- James 4