Reading God's Footnotes
We often talk about our life story. Usually this metaphorical reference applies to fiction, to novels. And we often suggest God is the author of our story. This is certainly true in the sense our lives often take on the character of a novel, with twists and turns, characters moving in and out of our lives as we move through the chapters of our life.
But consider for a moment the possibility that our lives are a book of non-fiction, a book full of footnotes. Looking at it from God's standpoint, our lives are not a work of fiction, and they certainly come with thousands of footnotes, little blurbs usually reserved for non-fiction books.
Footnotes are segments of text placed at the bottom of a page in a book or document, or at the end of a chapter, volume or the whole text. Authors include footnotes, to explain something in the text, expand upon it, describe something further, translate it into another language, refer the reader to other books or other places in the text, or to give credit to another author. The note can provide an author's comments on the main text or citations of a reference work in support of the text.
God Speaks Through Life Footnotes
It's important we are aware mentally, emotionally, and spiritually that God is inserting footnotes in our lives. What could a life footnote written by God be?
Authors include footnotes to highlight something in the text. God inserts "aha moments" in our lives to help us make sense of what's going on in our lives, experiences that just don't make sense at the time. In the book of Isaiah the prophet, God tells us his thoughts are not our thoughts, and our ways are not his ways. But I believe the Holy Spirit directs us to the fine print in our life footnotes to get a glimpse of what the Father's up to.
Footnotes also include an author's comments on the main text to explain something in the text or note citations of a reference work in support of the text. Isn't it amazing how many times you read a scripture, a spiritually uplifting book, testimonies of faith, or other works, and feel what you just read "speaks to you" at that moment. You end up looking back at your life with a discerning eye, as you would referring back to part of a text.
When there is a question regarding the meanings of words, authors often present various translations of a word or phrase to help the reader understand its meaning and context from a different perspective. Consider how God brings someone unexpectedly into your life who will help you looking at something you are experiencing from another perspective, helping you see the bigger picture.
Life footnotes are what God, the author of our life's non-fiction book, inserts as his version of footnotes to enhance our experience in the world, in his kingdom here on earth, and to prepare us for eternity. Keep your heart, mind, and soul alert for the fine print he adds on each page of your life.
In God's Words
"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you." (Psalm 32:8)
"All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace." (Isaiah 54:13)
"Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." (Philippians 4:9)
"Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?" (2 Corinthians 13:5)
Also read: Proverbs 12:1, Romans 7:15-24), Colossians 3:16
In Your Words
Have you had "aha moments" that help you understand how God is working in your life? If yes, describe the circumstances and how God was involved.
Have there been times when something you read or heard "spoke" something relating to your faith at just the right time? If yes, explain what effect it had on your faith.
Were there times when people appeared in your life who enhanced your faith or helped you through tough times? If yes, did you give God praise and express your appreciation to him?
In the Words of Others
"A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart. We know so many things, but we don't know ourselves! Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard as an ox's or bear's, cover the soul. Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there." Meister Eckhart
“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because once one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.” Lao Tzu