#1178 – “The Story” by Melanie Penn

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.
We are characters in a story written by God—a tale of conflict, heartbreak, and a selfless hero. We get to live our lives in this adventure story. I was inspired by N.T. Wright when I wrote this song. The COVID-19 pandemic was a painful experience for all of us. But it led me to create some of my favorite songs. At a different time, I would have never written songs like “Peace” or “The Story.” As usual, God brought beauty from ashes. Although I lamented the COVID era for a long time, I wouldn’t return to my 2019 self after everything I’ve learned. That’s the inspiration behind this song and these More Alive albums.
Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Romans 8:28 (VOICE): “We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.”
Philippians 1:6 (NKJV): “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

Revelation 21:4 (NIV): “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV): But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV): “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

James 4:14 (NKJV): “Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”
Psalm 91:1-2 (NKJV): “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV): “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
Psalm 37:4-5 (NIV): “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will do this.”
Psalm 46:1 (NIV): “The Lord is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble.”
Hebrews 13:8 (NKJV): “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
What is the takeaway message?
I’m very interested in aging and ‘getting older.’ There’s an undertone in our culture that as you age, you become a little ‘less’—less vibrant, active, attractive, whatever. But the opposite is true. As we get older, we become more dynamic and wiser. We get closer to true eternal life each year, so we become more alive in the light of the Gospel. Listeners deserve songs they can remember and sing: with jaunty melodies and rhymes. Sometimes, I like to think of music as food. We spend time discussing wholesome ingredients in food without anything fake or processed. Listeners deserve wholesome, nutritious songs that are ‘heart-healthy.’ So, I hope my songs have that healthy impact.
Who doesn’t love a story
Cover to back
Ask me in the moment
It’s the only truth I have
I can imagine
A writer with a pen
It’s a tale of a risky rescue
And how love wins in the end
Would He take care with the setting
Breathe the words to life
Leave a little mystery
He wouldn’t overly describe
Give us a conflict
And a villain but even more
The story needs a heartbreak
And a Hero who goes to war
Beginner and finisher
First word to the end
The author of an adventure
I’m glad I am in
I trust the storyteller
With even what’s between the lines
It isn’t any fiction, I am written, and He writes
Do you feel you’re buried
In the rubble of the plot
You’re just in the middle
It’s getting good when all is lost
Here comes the hero
Riding on a cloud
The lovers throw a party
And the orphans get the house
Beginner and finisher
First word to the end
The author of an adventure
I’m glad I am in
I trust the storyteller
With even what’s between the lines
It isn’t any fiction, I am written, and He writes
Closing Thoughts
Melanie’s songs contain poetic biblical descriptions of God and our identity as His children, emphasizing the importance of finding joy in any circumstance through reliance on Him. So many people can relate to the song’s message. This song has a comforting message of hope. These songs are filled with comforting messages of hope. Breathe it like oxygen, and let God turn whatever you’re going through into something for His glory.
Often, we let negative thoughts define our self-worth. Jesus died to free us from sin and death and give us abundant life. God knows what’s going to happen. So, rather than wallow in self-pity and misery, we live each day knowing that He is with us despite circumstances. As Romans 8:28 puts it, God has a plan for “those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.”
As Christians, we trust God’s Word. We’re all growing. Have faith, and let God work for good. Spend time with Him for redemption and restoration. We’re not at the end of our story. God is still writing our stories of redemption. 
He wants us to know that He is faithful to complete what He started in all of us who have put our trust in Him. This song inspires us to deepen our relationship with God and strengthen our faith.
We all have false beliefs about ourselves. Our enemy speaks to us, but God’s love is louder. “The Story” song helps us see ourselves as God sees us and deal with our emotions.

Remember that the earth isn’t our permanent home. Our freedom from the restlessness of this world will come when we enter the proper rest that can only come from living eternally with Jesus Christ. One day, there will be no more pain, no more sorrow, and no more suffering. 
So, put your hope and trust in God. Know that you’ll be with Him as a new creation with a new body. You’ll worship Him forever, as expressed in this song. Whatever struggle or depression you face, know that God is always with you.
Melanie beautifully depicts the message of our blessed hope that God is making all things new that we all need to hear, “Here comes the hero/Riding on a cloud/The lovers throw a party/And the orphans get the house/Beginner and finisher/First word to the end/The author of an adventure/I’m glad I am in/I trust the storyteller/With even what’s between the lines/It isn’t any fiction, I am written and He writes.” Amen to that.