The Grand Narrative
The Details

Posted July 19, 2017
Posted By Patty Naff

This week our guest Gmail writer is Brian Rhen, PCC’s Pastor of People Development and teaching pastor at our gatherings this upcoming Sunday, July 23.  

“Only in retrospect can I now see how both the mundane and tragic moments in my life are part of His greater story.”

How about you? Can you see how the normal and broken pieces of your life fit into the grand narrative puzzle of God’s greater story? Maybe you are in a celebratory season of awe over how He did just reveal it to you. Or maybe you aren’t because the daily grind, the grief of loss, or the unknown of the future seems like a dense blinding fog that has yet to clear. Or maybe you’re not sure, because this is the first time you’ve even thought about it and need more time to ponder.

Personally, I am always amazed how the mundane and tragic moments of my life can be used by God in the greater scheme of things. For example, I have a friend coming to town this week with his wife and kids to visit.

They are former PCC attendees who moved out of state about 8 years ago. He has become a true brother to me over the last 16 years. Being 10 years apart in age, it took God working through the mundane and tragic to bring us together and use it all for His great story.  

  • When he was a teen on the East Coast, I moved to the West Coast for my first job.
  • My faith awakens in 1991 out of a painful broken relationship and leads me to PCC.
  • Graduate school brings him to the Bay Area.
  • His faith awakens in 2001 out of the painful confusion of the 9/11 tragedy.
  • A colleague at work points him to PCC and we meet.
  • We bond over the love of the Word, running/hiking adventures, and common struggles.
  • Since then, God works through each of us to encourage each other, our families, and others to walk with Him in ways we all had never experienced before.

I could tell you story after story about the mundane events (emails, lunches, phone calls) and the tragedies (deaths, disappointments) that God used to connect my friend and me and to weave our story into His.

Many call what I am describing God’s sovereignty (God reigning over all things) or providence (God’s provision that seems like coincidence) or kesed (pursuing loyal love of God or another). Others point to Paul’s words inspired by God:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,

who have been called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

I want to challenge you to ponder how your seemingly ordinary story fits into His extraordinary plan. How you have experienced this unique pursuing love from God or another along the way?

Join us this Sunday in our summer series This is Us as we continue to reflect on how our ordinary stories, filled with mundanes and tragedies, are part of God’s extraordinary story. Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz, who are just like us, in the Book of Ruth will be our guides.

To get a short video overview of the Book of Ruth, access your free PCC Right Now Media account, then type “Read The Book of Ruth” into the search box, and then click on the post that pops up.


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