I am a big superhero fan. I love the creativity and the adventures that can be found in the comic books, but what I truly love are what these stories can represent. After all, don’t we all wish we could be “super” with the ability to change the world, right the wrongs, and be generally adored by fans? Don’t we wish we could be extraordinary and stand out among the crowd? Are there not times when we fear that all we will ever be is average? Do you ever worry that your story will never be told?
Every superhero has an origin story that speaks to how he or she came to have powers. Sometimes it is from a genetically modified spider; sometimes it’s radiation or an experimental procedure.
Just as each hero has a backstory, we too have a story that has shaped our lives. Our stories have helped to shape who we are, how we think, and how we live. These experiences and events of our past speak into the present in a powerful way.
But, our past does not define us. If we were in control of our lives, we’d be in trouble. Our choices would have pushed our lives into the margins. Our paths would have been established early on, never to alter or improve. In our own strength, our backstory would have been a story of a life spiraling toward destruction.
But, God, in his infinite wisdom and mercy, chose to redeem us and guide us to the path of life and power. While we were still writing a story of destruction and pain, God was drafting a better story for our lives, one that, as Christians, he has graciously called us into. Our backstory simply becomes a chapter in a beautiful story of redemption and eternal significance.
Consider Ephesians 2:1-10
2 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.