Are you stuck in the middle of your life story?
Last week at Bible Study Fellowship God gave me a powerful take on the middle of our life stories through a word I had never heard before: Inclusio. Have you ever heard it?
A New Look at “The Messy Middle”
Peggy, the Teaching Leader giving the lecture gave a clear, powerful description of the word, “inclusio” but the Spirit had such a hold on me as I contemplated the meaning of the word that I forgot to write it down. So after fishing around, the simplest definition I found to share with you is this:
“An inclusio is a literary device where the writer states a theme or idea at both the beginning and end of a story. It’s intended to introduce and conclude a main point. Everything in-between is to be read with the inclusio theme in mind. When you think of inclusio, think bookends.” Ted Weis
Peggy presented “inclusio” in the context of how Genesis introduces God’s theme of redemption through His Son, Jesus Christ and how Revelation concludes with the consummation of it. In between, sit 64 books of Scripture detailing the history of “humans caught in the mysteries of the middle,”² as my BSF notes so beautifully put it.
The Mysterious Middle of Your Story
Perhaps today you feel “caught in the mysteries of the middle” as you watch news stories and world events, as you consider your life story and wonder how it all fits together . . .
There’s so much we don’t understand.
“Middle” has never been my favorite word. In any context. And though I do love a good mystery, when it comes to my own story — well, not so much. I’d much rather flip past the middle of it and get straight to that “caught up to meet the Lord in the air” moment — minus the anxiety-inducing ado in between.
Then I found another definition of “inclusio” that brought the concept home with even more power:
“Inclusio: Two verses or two paragraphs that bracket material that is important and in the author’s focus.”³ (Emphasis mine)
Imagine a leather-bound book with gilt-edged pages lying open on a table. Its pages are filled with beautiful, intricate writing, sometimes in a language we can’t understand. It tells stories chalked full of color, texture, details, and mystery. It tells your story and mine.
But our copy isn’t finished yet.
The Author is still bent over the book savoring the mysterious middle where faith and life intersect; where the theme of each story unfolds and He is known and glorified.
Sometimes our stories are written one difficult word at a time, other times in a flurry of pages, joyfully penned. Sometimes our stories are written one difficult word at a time, other times in a flurry of pages, joyfully penned. Click To Tweet But in each chapter, in every scene, He paints a picture that moves the plot forward:
Your God-ordained life story, tucked within the pages of His —
— and bound with gilt-edged glory.
Your life is a story and God wants to reveal Himself through it. Your life is a story and God wants to reveal Himself through it. Click To Tweet
What chapter in the “mysterious middle” of your life story will you entrust to God today?
*For extra encouragement and for confidence about your future, read the victorious end of God’s story.
² BSF Notes, Revelation Study, Introduction Page 1
Featured image courtesy of Pablo Heimplatz