“Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the foe.” Psalm 107:2
The other day my daughter, a single mom of three boys, was discouraged about something she was trying to trust God for during this pandemic. So, I reminded her of a story. Her story. Our story. A story about the goodness and faithfulness of God.
A few years ago, she’d been driving an old Dodge van, but it was no longer safe to drive. It was prone to breaking down, at random moments, which was stressing her to no end. So, we began praying, with her boys, for another vehicle. It seemed important to be specific in our request. I was reminded of the story of blind Bartimaeus (Luke 18:35). He kept calling out as the Lord passed by, so Jesus stopped and asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” Bartimaeus was very specific in his request, “I want to see!”
So, we prayed, specifically. We prayed for an SUV. One that had low mileage; had been taken care of and with payments she could afford since she wasn’t in a position to buy one outright. Oh, and she also asked the Lord if He could provide one with seven seats, so it would fit friends. It seemed a tall order, but we put our trust in a God who is able to provide.
She searched on line, but didn’t find anything she was comfortable with. Then the van broke down, again. She decided to go to a local dealership and see what they had in their lot. We prayed for the Lord’s leading and wisdom. We also prayed that He would give her favor with the right salesperson IF the right vehicle was there. The salesperson who greeted her was an older woman, who, upon talking with my daughter and hearing her situation explained that she also had a daughter who was a single mom. She knew exactly what my daughter was going through. “I think I have the perfect vehicle for you,” she said.
My daughter was skeptical. No, she was very skeptical, but it was the perfect vehicle. In fact, perfect beyond even her wildest imagining of one. It was a 2010 Buick Enclave with all the bells and whistles! Low mileage. Immaculately cared for by an older couple who had downsized. She could easily afford the payments over three years and, now, its almost paid for. Oh, and it seats seven passengers!
She’s often gotten into it with her boys, and given thanks to God – out loud – just so they’ll remember how the Lord answered their prayers. This is now a part of her story, her boys’ story and our family’s story about God’s goodness and faithfulness expressed in our lives.
English critic and author G.K. Chesterton once wrote, “I had always felt life as a story, and if there is a story, there is a storyteller.” It’s also been said that history is His story; meaning God’s story which is being written in the lives of men, women and children throughout the centuries. And, it will continue until our Lord returns. We’re part of God’s overarching story and that’s exciting.
I’m so thankful God chose to reveal Himself partly through story. Can you imagine if our Bibles didn’t have Genesis, Exodus, Joshua and Judges? How harsh and dry Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy would be? What if there was no I & II Samuel, Kings and Chronicles? Would we understand and appreciate Psalms, Proverbs and the prophets’ writings without those stories? And what about the gospels? Knowing God is full of love; that He’s kind, generous, forgiving and wants to reconcile us to Himself is more understandable when we read the gospel story of His Son, Jesus.
What about the stories of ‘heroes of the faith’? Haven’t you appreciated reading about Corrie ten Boom, John Wesley, Gladys Aylward, William Carey, Elizabeth Fry or George Muller? The only reason we know about them is that they, or someone else, took the time to preserve their stories and we’ve benefited. None of them were perfect. They all had flaws. Yet, God, in His goodness, chose, and chooses, to use the weak and least to further His kingdom. Their stories have encouraged others about God’s goodness. Their stories have shown others what it looks like to follow the Lord; to experience His divine protection; to have prayers answered in simple or sometimes impossible ways, and also experience provision when there was no provision in sight. Haven’t their stories encouraged you? Haven’t we experienced God’s goodness in varying degrees?
Few of us are famous evangelists, speakers, or authors with bestselling books. However, we all have stories to tell. Often, they’re simple stories about the goodness and faithfulness of God to us. Our stories matter because remembering and preserving them encourages our faith and reminds our children and grandchildren that God is actively at work in our world. How you choose to do it is up to you: Write them down, record, videotape, or make a digital album with a narration. Or, why not pray and ask the Lord if there’s a story He wants you to share the next time you call or Zoom with your family. It’s a good way to remind them about His goodness and faithfulness. Start by saying, “You know, I was reminded the other day of when we’d prayed for…” or “I remember how the Lord protected Grandpa when…”
After all, who doesn’t appreciate a good story?
If the Lord has been encouraging you to record your faith story, let me suggest an excellent resource, Passing on A Written Legacy: An Easy Guide to Memory Writing by Lana Rockwell, available through Amazon.ca.