These are three ideas I’ve been thinking about the last couple of days.
Jesus communicated most often through story.
We relate to key figures in Scripture through story.
We relate best to one another through story.
I think about David and his heartfelt words in the Book of Psalms–it’s often the book I turn to when I don’t know where else to turn. David knew his life was an open book. He knew that bringing all the pages to the One who could edit and transform his story was the best, most productive way to journey through life. David knew that no matter what season of life he was in…he needed to run to his Redeemer over and over again.
When he was joy-filled, he turned to God. When he was sad, he turned to God. When he was filled with questions, he turned to God. When he was fearful, he turned to God. When he was shaking his fist or throwing a full-fledged temper tantrum, he turned to God. And we, the readers of these stories, can see this and be encouraged. We can discover pieces of our own journey tucked away in every desperate cry for help, every tear, every sigh, every dance of celebration, or every joyful hallelujah.
David teaches us that we are to bring every single page of our story to God.
I think about Peter. His story reminds me over and over that when we live by faith and keep our hearts and eyes on Jesus then we can live boldly and courageously. Yet when we take our eyes off of Jesus and focus on our limited abilities and our circumstances then fear will cause us to sink, hide or deny. (Matthew 14, John 18)
I think about the Apostle Paul and his story from Jesus hater to Jesus lover. Paul was so certain he was on the right path until Jesus spoke truth into his heart. Jesus didn’t condemn Paul for all his steps in the wrong direction. Instead, Jesus used all the wrong steps to show both Paul and future generations just how big His Love for His children truly is…by taking the “worst of sinners” and transforming him into a “chosen instrument.”
We learn from Paul’s story that no one can travel so far in the wrong direction that they are out of their Savior’s reach. Through the story of Paul, we learn that these tug of war matches we often have between flesh and Spirit, pride and humility, and bondage and freedom are not new struggles. The “worst of sinners” experienced the same struggles yet chose to run back to this Truth over and over: God’s grace is more than sufficient. Our Redeemer’s hands stretch wide and His love and mercy can break through and shine truth into even the toughest of hearts. (Acts 9, Roman 7, 2 Corinthians 12)
Stories show us that there are “me too” and “I’ve been there” moments all around us. Not just in scripture but in our day to day lives too. Stories are powerful because they have a way of pointing our hearts back to the truth that we are not alone and there is hope.
Dear Lord: Today, let story open our eyes to the more we can find in You