I’m an empty page
I’m an open book
Write Your story on my heart
Come on and make Your mark
These words are from Francesca Battistelli’s song “Write Your Story”. It is a powerful song that recognizes that there is One who is the ‘Author of my hope’ and ‘maker of the stars’. However, it’s the thought ‘Come on and make Your mark’ that has grabbed my attention for this blog.
Recently I have been referencing Jonah’s story. How is it that a prophet of God runs away from God? How is it that God’s man for the job is upset at what God does? How is it that Jonah was able to even fulfill what God asked him to do? I do not pretend to have all the answers for these questions and others that arise from Jonah’s story. However, if we allow God to ‘make Your mark’ within our hearts, perhaps we too can be an open page for Him to write His redemptive story in.
Not for one minute do I believe that Jonah knew all the details of God’s ultimate plan that involved him. We know that Jonah struggled with God’s ‘relenting’ from sending disaster upon the wicked citizens of Nineveh (4:2). But to use a great fish? Really God? Well, after-all this is a big first for Israel in that a prophet of Israel is being sent to those outside Israel. Seeing as how this is a first big-time event, why not use a big fish too? With all kidding aside, Jonah learned just who the Author of his story is. He is ‘Yahweh, the God of the heavens, who made the sea and the dry land’ (1:9). It is the same God who appointed a great fish that marked Jonah.
Most scholars agree that Jonah’s appearance would have been altered because of the digestive juices contained within the stomach of the fish. Jonah’s skin, and hair would have been damaged, and potentially never the same again. Jonah’s life would bear the ‘marks’ of his story. Jonah’s life visibly demonstrated his disobedience and rebellion. However, it also was evidence of God’s authorship, purpose, grace, power and message. In fact, this time when Jonah is sent to Nineveh, he was not just communicating God’s message, Jonah himself was the message.
Having said that, I know that this world, evil people, and demonic powers leave cruel and malicious marks on humanity that grieve the heart of God. I am not advocating God to be the author of such things. In fact, a biblical worldview understands that evil powers can affect the physical lives of humanity. The woman with the issue of blood whom Jesus cured was one such individual. When referring to her story, Mark uses the Greek word mastix to describe her affliction (5:29,34). The concept behind mastix is the picture of someone who is exhibiting a wound, marks, or affliction because of the whippings received at the hands of a slave driver, or Roman soldier. It was as if this woman was bearing the physical marks of the devil’s affliction. For twelve years she suffered and spent all that she had with no hope of relief. However, the power of God combined with her faith, brought freedom and healing from her tormenting wounds.
Brett Ullman shares his story in a video documentary entitled ‘The Walking Wounded’. Our church is bringing in Dr. Grant Mullen for a Transformation Weekend that will deal with emotional pain, mood swings and anxiety issues. The point is this: We all have marks. God desires to redeem them.
Knowing what we know about Jonah and the woman who suffered for twelve years; knowing that there is One who is the Author of Hope, I encourage you to bring all your marks before Almighty God and say:
I want my history to be Your legacy
Go ahead and show this world
What You’ve done in me
And when the music fades
I want my life to say, I let You write Your story
 Songwriters: Francesca Battistelli / David Garcia / Benjamin Michael Glover, Write Your Story lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group, Capitol Christian Music Group