Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Everyone Has a Story

As I have traveled through this life, I have met some very interesting people along the way. I have talked and discoursed with long-hairs, short-hairs, republicans and democrats, conservatives and liberals, poverty-stricken and filthy-rich. I have talked with people from all over the world, and even lived in some of their cultures. What I have learned from all these interactions is that everyone has a story. Some are tame and mild, others are outrageous and wild. Some stories tell of great tragedy and pain, while others are full of victory triumph. Some have straight and clean paths, while others somehow face every obstacle under the sun. What is so interesting to me, though, is that you just never know what a person's story is from looking at the person alone. That old saying of "don't judge a book by it's cover" is just so true. You just never know what a person has gone through, or is going through, to be where she is today. What I have also learned, though, is that even if you do know a person's story, it may give you an insight into what the picture of the life has looked like, but it does not tell you how the heart has held up in response to it all. That's a different story altogether.

I have become thoroughly convinced through the years that God wants us to tell our stories, because ultimately, they are His stories. It is through these stories of our lives that His character is revealed and we meet Him afresh and anew with experience in our lives. It is also through these stories that we remember what He has done for us, how far He has carried us, how He has healed and changed our own lives.

Have you ever noticed how many names of God there are throughout Scripture? Whenever an event would happen in Scripture, the people involved would name God based on the characteristic that was revealed, based on who He was to them at that point in time. Maybe He is Elohim (the Creator) at one point, and then Qanna (Jealous) at another. Maybe He is El Roi (the God who sees) to the woman who has been cast out, or Jehovah-Jireh (the Lord will Provide) to the woman who is struggling to make ends meet. I have come to realize that Scripture is full of so many different names of God, as there is no one name that is big enough to encompass all that is God, other than to simply acknowledge YHWH in how He called Himself, I AM THAT I AM.

When we tell our stories of God, when we tell the history, or rather His Story, of our lives, we share with others the character of God and the ways that He has revealed Himself to us, that others may know Him and recognize Him as He reveals Himself to them.

And so I will slowly begin to tell my story, mostly for my benefit, so that I may take a look back and remember how far God has brought me. There are many days that I battle with discouragement, wondering if I have grown at all. And so it is through this remembering that I may see the path I have traveled, and see the wonders of the Lord and how His hand has worked. I don't know how long it will take to get it out, but slowly, and patiently, I will lay it all out there. Well, maybe not all...we'll see what it brings.

Feel free to journey with me. It might not all be pretty. Let me rephrase. It is not all pretty. There are parts that are downright ugly. But there is nothing that Jesus touches that He does not turn to beauty, no ashes left behind. And so there is no shame in the path that was taken, only praise that He did not leave me there.

What about you? Have you thought about the story of your journey? How far has God brought you?

1 comment:

  1. Indeed, He has been there all along.
    But what I realized today is that I most often describe my life as boring (meaning uneventful). And that's a pretty lousy way to portray the character of God. I'm going to have to give that some thought.


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