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Who is the hero of your story?

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Bonnie Tyler had a way with words,

“I need a hero

I’m holding out for a hero ’til the end of the night

He’s gotta be strong, and he’s gotta be fast

And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight”

What a song. During danger, trials, and trauma the yearning for a hero emerges. There’s a recognition that change can’t happen apart from a hero. We’re lost without one.

I was listening to another woman this week. Not a singer like Bonnie, but a woman also in crisis. She said that she was angry, angry at God. And she said that maybe she needs to be humble and patient. While this does sound like the Sunday school answer everyone wants to hear, perhaps it is not the complete answer. On one hand, she was angry at God, while on the other hand desiring qualities exclusive to God to transform her life.

When an awareness of need surfaces, the piercing question is not “where” do we go for change, but to “whom” do we go for change?

Many of us want to “be” something better… more patient or more humble. Why is it so uncomfortable when situations transpire, and we realize we’re not these things? It could be because, below the water line, there’s an iceberg called “inadequacy”. Or another way to put it; a painful awareness that we’re not the hero! We may not like what we see in ourselves, and we also cannot change ourselves, though we try with a desperate effort. An out-of-control powerlessness ensues. It is maddening! That awareness of need, though painful, is a conduit to what the Spirit desires for us – submission to Christ and conformity to His beautiful image. The desire to be humble and patient apart from Jesus is a broken cistern. A desire to be our own hero. But our inadequacies are grace-filled reminders that not only do we have a Savior that desires to change us, but we have a Savior that desires to embrace us in all our ugliness. The Gospel informs me to go to Jesus (John 1:1-14; 14:6). That I go to the person who is perfect humility and patience (Heb. 4:15). Since Jesus left us the Holy Spirit, I have the Holy Spirit in me to receive that same perfect humility and patience (John 14:15-31). I do not manufacture humility and patience in my flesh. That never works. I receive humility and patience from the Father, through the Son, by the Holy Spirit, and over time… I realize that I am no longer as angry as I once was as I’ve walked a path enjoying my hero’s presence.

Perhaps Bonnie Tyler’s song is relevant for our lives. We need a hero. But do we want the hero’s transformation of our circumstances only, or we want Him to be the sole hero of our stories? As we reflect on who the hero is of our stories, may our prayers sound less and less like, “Lord can you make me more patient?” and more and more like “Lord, all I need is you, and you alone”.


  • As you consider your story, who is the hero?
  • When you consider the Lord Jesus, do you see him more for refinement or rescue, a mechanism of development or a person of delight? Why?
  • What steps would you take to make Jesus the hero of your life instead of you?

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