During the years I worked at Arizona Christian as the dean of women, I treasured the opportunity I received to occasionally share with students in chapel whatever recent truth the Lord was unveiling during my quiet times.
I titled my very last chapel connection: My Story Matters!
Because it does....
...for several reasons.
My story matters to me, because it speaks of the journey I've been on with Jesus, the ups and downs, the highs and lows, the sorrowful and the joyous. An added benefit is that the Lord used the telling of my story (usually, out loud) to eliminate some ugly bits of shame the enemy seemed to velcro onto my soul. Hearing myself share what Jesus had done in my life totally eliminated it.
I also know my story matters to others, because many times folks see themselves in my story. When they do, they know there is hope for their stories to end in such a way that there is redemption.
Most of all, I know my story matters to the Lord, Himself, since He is the hero of my story...He was, is, and always will be the protagonist in my drama. As a result, His name and wonderful deeds are glorified.
The verse at the top of this blog was my go-to-passage for that chapel...and, as I prepared for it, I ran across one translation that used these words:
Set apart Christ as Lord of your Life, and never fail to share the story of the hope you carry...
I loved those six words:
Never fail to share [your] story...
1) Passion – the more passionate we are, the more authentic we are. The more vulnerable, the more we relate.
2) Struggle - A story isn’t worth telling unless there is a relatable character who is up against something. If there’s nothing at stake, there is no story.
3) “Aha” Moment – this is the moment when a new truth is realized; every great story has a life-lesson.
4) Transformation – as the story ends, something or someone has changed (usually for the better).
When Jesus is a part of our life, there’s always a story to tell. These are the best stories, because they are the ones where the God of the Universe stoops down to make us (His creation, made in His image) great (Psalm 18:35, NIV).
These are the best stories, because they are the building blocks of the Kingdom of God; and that is why we are here – to build a Kingdom for God’s glory (Isaiah 43:7).
BUT....Scripture is full of good stories.
Over the course of the next few weeks, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the "characters" that enrich our Bible.
We might just find that we relate to them as we read about their struggles, relate to their hearts, their passion, and learn from their “aha” moments.
Perhaps, we’ll notice that not only were their lives transformed by the Hero of the Universe, but little by little over time, as we study their stories, He will change us! What a thought.
Perhaps, we'll notice as we look at the stories of their lives, that our stories are also worth the telling...
After all, Bible characters were HUMAN just as we are...imperfectly perfect...definitely not folks out of a once-upon-a-time-fairy-tale-world!
The Lord has recorded their stories, to use their lives to build His Kingdom, just as He wants to use yours to continue to do so.
As we dig into some of these interesting folks, start thinking about your story...