Stories that Bring Life

I was recently with members of our church and other friends who gathered to pray for the commissioning of a residential rehab for women meth users in North Rodney. We walked the facility and grounds dedicating it for the Lord’s purposes. It was a great night as our friends started to recount their journey to get to this moment. The thing that struck me was how much they attributed to God’s activity.

It was wonderful to hear the narration of a story and know you were a very small part, but the glory went to God. As a person likely to have some involvement going forward, it was so encouraging to hear what God has done up to this point. It is the power of story that I feel brings life and energy to those who listen. The ancients had oral traditions that passed on the deeds of God from one generation to the next through story. This was not lost on Jesus, His use of story and parables was masterful, but in our modern western church I wonder if we have lost sight of this at times.

It seems to me in the western church we have a content heavy world with so much information at our fingertips. They are like small sound bites that can sometimes be lost, but what about celebrating long-term journeys where we acclaim the goodness of God in our lives? If you are struggling now, I suggest you look back to see the activity of God in your life. The ancient Israelites left markers as they travelled the journey that God had led them on, just so they could recall the story. As you do the same, you will once again join into a fellowship with God that is rich in faith and connection. Where have you seen prayer answered? When did God speak? Even if you have to go back a while to find those stories this is one area where the enemy can’t beat you because we are saved by the blood of the lamb and the witness of our testimony. Even if you only have one story, stand on it, build on it! It can be easier to seek God from a place of emotional and spiritual connection.

Last week in my email to you I was talking about legacy. This is where a legacy in God is built not just to make us feel good, but to encourage the generations below us. My children know the family “God stories” of when they were younger and occasionally have a “remember when” session when we get together. The most gratifying thing for me is when I see them doing the same things with their children celebrating answered prayer, gathering together to pray and sharing their God stories.

As we look back at what God has done in our lives, we can look forward in hopeful expectation of His faithfulness in the future.

Psalm 78:2-4
“I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old — things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us.
We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.”

Paul Monahan

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