Not too long ago, I wrote my autobiography. People have asked me why I waited so long to do it. I suppose I felt I needed to live some more life first. I also felt there were some chapters still to be written in my own life.
I heard about a 15-year-old celebrity who is writing their autobiography. How much life have you lived at 15?
I, on the other hand, know that I am on the “back end” of life now, not the front end. I figure I have more life behind me than before.
Writing my autobiography was both hard and helpful. Hard because I had to dig up some old memories I would have rather left buried. Helpful because I have been able to see the “big picture” a bit better and marvel at how God has taken the “bad things” of my life and used them for His glory.
It was interesting that many people who read the book said the same thing: “I did not know you went through all of that!” They knew me as “Pastor Greg,” the guy who preaches from the Bible. They didn’t know me as the kid with the seven-time divorced mom from the alcoholic home who once used to party, drink, and even do drugs for a time!
I don’t boast of these things; quite the opposite. I only tell my story to point people to His story. But I feel it can glorify God to see how He can take a life that has the “deck stacked against it” in practically every way and redeem it.
My life pales in comparison to different people in the Bible that God used. The Bible is replete with stories like this that are far more dramatic then mine.
Reminding us that God can do extraordinary things through ordinary people. God may not have called you to be a pastor or a teacher or a missionary, per se. But it is clear that He is looking for a person to show Himself “strong on behalf of.”
Think of all the ordinary people He has used to turn the world upside down. But also consider how utterly unqualified so many of them were.
So what’s your excuse?This is not to condone what any of these people did, but it is to say that God used all of them!
Out of their long and painful journey has come a really helpful survival guide, so to speak. It’s a book called Suffer Strong: How to Survive Anything by Redefining Everything. It’s not just an inspiring story of triumph through trials but a how-to book for accepting God’s plan and recognizing His providence even when it feels like your world is shattered.