How God can use your life story: Denouement

by Emily McFarlan Miller

I like “Blue Like Jazz” by Donald Miller. I like the just-released movie adaptation, too. I may even like Miller’s 2009 sort-of sequel “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” more. All three describe the elements of plot in a story; specifically, how God can use those elements in your life story.  So does this sermon I gave in 2007 about the work I do with my nonprofit, Hope for the First Nations.

You can read more about this series here. Here’s the resolution, or denouement. Because we all know jazz music doesn’t resolve.

V. Denouement

When Pastor Berg asked me to talk today about what I do on the reservation, why I do it and why I’ve kept doing it for the past eight years, he surprised me when He said, “Because I don’t think I could do what you do.” This, after he was a missionary in Africa for years. I can tell you right now I don’t think I could do that. But I don’t think God expects me to.

God is the Author of Life. He’s the Author of your life. And your life story may be very different from mine. My family has a cabin on a lake in northwestern Wisconsin on the edge of the St. Croix reservation, which is also an Anishinaabe reservation. So I’ve spent every summer of my entire life on and around reservations. I’ve always been fascinated by the Native American cultures around me. I’ve always been passionate about social justice issues. And I’m honored to share Christ’s love with the Anishinaabeg. God’s been able to use that for Hope for the First Nations. It’s a theme carried through my life story.

Maybe you’ve got a high-paying job and you can support charities and missionaries in the field. Like I said, I’m a professional intern. I couldn’t do that. But you should talk to me after the service. Maybe you’ve battled a disease or an addiction or an injustice in your life, or you know someone who has, and now you want to help others in similar situations. That’s something God can use if you let Him. Each of us has a unique life story, and that story fits into the story of hope and salvation that began at creation and reached its climax at Easter.

Take a look back at your life story and see what it is God can use. Turn the pen over to Him. And let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith.


Read all posts in the “How God can use your life story” series here.

Photo credit: Hope for the First Nations. Arrows divider via IROCKSOWHAT.