Whether it’s that fishing trip you took with your uncle, or the time you nearly died, or the story of your first kiss, or your engagement – the list goes on and on.
We tell our stories for a variety of reasons. We want people to know something about us, or we want to entertain, or be entertained, or we want to share excitement and experience with someone else.
That’s not an exhaustive list, but the fact is that stories are powerful. Even if it’s just the answer to “how was work today?” our stories carry weight and meaning with them. They help us to understand each other and to relate. Facts and figures are well and good, but stories are what stick with us.
It’s that desire to know and be known that has created a hunger for stories in our culture.
We go to the movies and we devour stories like they’re that large popcorn we just spent $10 on, or we sit at home and watch Netflix for hours on end. We read book after book, click on Facebook article after Facebook article – all in search of a grand story.
Our news presents itself as stories, our music tells us stories, we go to sleep and even dream up stories for no one but ourselves to know.
Stories are everywhere. They’re how we connect with other people.
God brings this idea to life for us in the pages of the grand story called the Bible.
First, in the Old Testament, we read story after story of God’s chosen people and how they attempt to follow God’s plan. Some perform admirably, some start well but gradually tail off, and others flat out fail miserably. Then Jesus uses the same idea in his teaching, in the New Testament, as he tells parable after parable (or story after story) in order to illustrate certain points of his message. He was connecting on a deeper level. He was building a repertoire with his audience. He was tugging at their hearts in a way they would understand.
God uses stories to speak to us. He teaches us with examples of his followers from the past. He introduces himself to us and reveals attributes of his character, he encourages us with his promises, and he helps to reveal purpose in our lives and what we should do next.
We serve a mighty God whose power and creativity knows no bounds. He is the great author, and he is crafting the story of the world – its creation, fall, redemption, and restoration.
He is crafting your story too.
We all have stories of hurt and loss, selfishness and anger, of hopelessness and desperation and pain.
But through Christ, our stories change. They are rewritten with laughter and joy, and the strength to endure, to trust, and to forgive; with the hope of salvation and the promise of eternity.
Through Christ, our stories far surpass anything that we could ever hope to accomplish by our efforts alone.
Through Christ, stories of ordinary people carry the power to have an extraordinary impact.
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“One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts… They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness.” Psalm 145:4-6 (ESV)