I love a good story. Whether it is told in the confines of a good book or shared by a master storyteller from the stage, I love to hear a good tale. The importance of stories is revealed throughout Scripture. God made it clear that, through stories, He wanted His goodness and renown to be made shared with generation after generation. The obvious implication being that as we remember His goodness and faithfulness in past generations it will inspire us to trust Him with greater faith in these times.
Psalm 78 (where I found myself this a.m.) addresses this specifically for the people of Israel. In recounting their unfaithfulness in verse 11, the psalmist writes:
They forgot what He had done, the wonders He had shown them.
This is a good reminder for us, especially those of us who are parents. However, I think it’s true for everyone. It’s very easy to focus on our troubles, our problems or our difficulties. When we forget what God has done in the previous days, we can get frustrated or discouraged. We can even lose hope altogether. Stories remind us that God is good all the time. While the stories of Scripture are powerful testimonies of who God is, they are made that much more powerful when coupled with stories from our lives. These “contemporary” tales remind us that God is not a God of the distant past who is removed from our lives. Rather, He is very much an interested party in our lives today.
I have seen this truth played out time and time again as I talk about His faithfulness in walking with my family through Sarah and Josh’s death. When I am willing to stand before others and talk about God’s strength in my weakness, there is inevitably some person nearby who needs encouragement or wisdom, love or compassion.
Recommit yourself to sharing your stories with your children, spouse, neighbors and co-workers. The power of your story may carry the very medicine that someone needs to make it one more day. Remember His faithfulness and the ways (big and small) that He has provided for you.
We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders He has done. Psalm 78:4 NIV