What’s Your Story?Posted: May 25, 2012
A year or so ago some friends had a son in a fatal car accident. The accident was their son’s fault and he owned up to his mistakes and paid the consequences. Recently, the mother was recounting a conversation she had with her son as he struggled with the gravity of the situation. “Son,” she told him, “God is giving you a story. I don’t know what that story is, but he is giving you a story to share.”
God gives us all experiences that create our own personal story. Don Miller recorded his story in his book Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality. He then wrote A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life to recount the story of him writing his story for the big screen. After that experience, he created the Storyline conference to help participants create and record their own story. Confused yet? Hopefully not!
So why do we need a story? To encourage others in their personal walks with God. I truly believe that God brings every person through some things–both good and bad–in order to empathize with others. A few weeks ago at the funeral for a young person in our church, I saw a grandmother who had lost her grandson a few years ago greet this young man’s grandmother. It brought tears to my eyes because I knew that grandmother #1 was able to empathize with grandmother #2. No words needed to be shared, just a simple hug as both knew what the other is dealing with or had dealt with. It is a beautiful scene to see people share from their experiences.
Do you “consider it pure joy” (James 1:2) when you face difficult situations? James goes on to tell us that these trials help build perseverance. Perhaps this comes through creating an opportunity to minister to those around us and those we have not yet met. When I am able to minister, to be the hands and feet of Jesus, I am encouraged to do it more (persevere). It is an exciting feeling to be able to use my experiences to bring comfort, joy, and encouragement to others.
What experiences has God-given you to minister to others? How have you used those experiences and how have they helped shape who you are?