Tuesday, April 22, 2014

S is for Story

We've all got a story.

Back in the day, people lived in communities.  Whole generations worked together everyday.  In the evenings, they sat on their porches to rest, sip sweet tea, and share stories.  Neighbors would drop by and tell their stories.

You grew up knowing how Mr. and Mrs. Smith met and got married, how Grandpa did at his first job, the secret to Aunt Clara's fabulous dumplings and Grandma's sure-fire secret to quieting a colicky baby.  

You learned from everyone's story.

God knew that we learned best from stories so He included a bunch of stories in His Word.  What I love best is that He included the whole story.  You didn't just learn about how David defeated the giants in his life but also about the mistakes he made.  How he committed adultery when he wasn't where he was supposed to be. You learned about his genuine repentance and sorrow and the consequences of his sin.  It's all there.

I identify with the stories about Peter in the New Testament because I often speak before I think, too. I learn from the stories of Paul's perseverance, of Mary Magdalene being the first person mandated to "go and tell," of Timothy being reminded to not let a spirit of fear overtake him because God gave him power, love and a sound mind.

Of course, the greatest story of all is how the King of the Universe chose to take on flesh and live with the poorest of the poor.  How He poured out His life as a sacrifice so that the very ones He created could treat Him cruelly. His story is that He made that sacrifice so there could be a good ending to our story.

Nowadays, we don't sit on porches and share our stories with friends and neighbors. Instead of a front porch, we have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and blogs.  (I mustn't forget blogs!)  The point is, we can still share our stories.  I need to know the fantastic way you found to save money, decorate a home, feed your family delicious meals, and organize your life so that you have more time to spend with your loved ones.  I need to know how you solve the problem of missing socks, forgotten homework and colicky babies. I need to know how you improve your marriages and build family traditions.  Even more, I crave knowing how you made strides in your spiritual maturity, your insights into scripture and your miraculous prayer victories that God has done for you.

I need to know about your faith journey and I need the knowledge I'm not alone.  You've been there, too. I need to know how you keep on keeping on, even when it looks bleak.

Everyone has a story, and I need to hear yours.

This post was written in community with the April A-Z blogging challenge.  To read others' work, go here.


Stephanie Faris said...

I do sometimes wish we lived in a world where everyone knew their neighbors. I learn more about those in my neighborhood from Facebook than from what they tell me face to face!

Joyful Reader said...

This is an awesome post Jerralea! I love hearing other peoples stories. That is why I follow the folks I do in blogland.

As I was reading about the stories in the Bible I felt my spirit welling up! These stories make me know that I am normal, not crazy. The same kind of mistakes they made I make today.

Thanks for sharing this today. I want to tell my story too!

betty said...

Totally enjoyed this today; I like how the medium has changed in how we tell our stories, but it is still important to tell them. I too like how the Bible tells the "good, the bad, the ugly" because that's basically what this world is, isn't it? Thankfully we have hope in Jesus and eternity with him :)


Melanie Cook said...

I wish I had written down the stories that my grandparents had told me. They would be priceless. I remember so few of them. I miss that kind of "Mayberry" world.

ellen b. said...

What a great challenge, Jerralea. I've enjoyed reading down through some of the letter themes you chose.

Angie said...

We live in a small town in Eastern Kentucky and still spend lots of time porch sitting and listening to stories. As much as I hate small town living for so many reasons, I love it for the close knit community it has.

Chuck Allen said...

I love to write (and read) fiction stories. I'm sure the reason we enjoy these types of stories is because of what you are saying here - we need encouragement from each other's story.

And while I love fiction, it is not a replacement for the real stories we all live and share. We need those to help us through this life which can sometimes be difficult and confusing. Thanks, Jerralea, for sharing some of your story with us!