In God Stuff

Everyone has a story. Are you telling yours?

During my seminary years I had the privilege of serving on staff at First Baptist Church-Tempe. I learned many lessons from senior pastor Dr. Roger Ball. Not the least of which was how steer a long established, multi-generational church in a new direction; fast enough to make progress yet slow enough to keep people from being thrown overboard.

The backyard BBQ’s he hosted with wife Diana were a friendly environment for recent visitors to ask questions about the church and meet long-time members. After everyone was fed and watered, we’d circle up in the living room to hear everyone’s story.

“Mary”, why don’t you tell us how you and “Ted” met?”

Mary and Ted, a 20-something engaged couple, had recently relocated from another state. Petite and perky with a big smile, Mary’s blonde hair bounced and brushed her shoulders as she talked. Tall and handsome, Ted was more quiet than his fiancé.

“Let’s see. How did we meet? Well…I was buying drugs… and Ted was selling them!”

I think I saw a couple deacons clutch their chest. It wasn’t the typical “we met in Algebra class” answer. She proceeded to tell the story of how God met them in the middle of their mess and delivered them from their addictions. Now healthy, drug free and about to be married, Mary glowed with the joy of a fresh start and new life in Jesus.

iuEveryone has a story. Are you telling yours?

Growing up in the church since the week I came into the world, I’ve heard more testimonies than I can count. It’s always a thrill to hear how God works in peoples’ lives. Having been in marketplace and church ministry for over 25 years, I can also tell you I’ve spoken with far too many Christians who don’t tell their story. Compared to Big Bad Biker Billy Bob’s testimony of miraculous deliverance from a life of drugs, alcohol and gangs, their humble story doesn’t feel very interesting or captivating. So they (and you, perhaps?) remain silent.

Let’s think critically for a moment.

Is God sovereign? Yes.

Is God perfect? Yes.

Is God omniscient (all-knowing)? Yes.

It begs the question. Is it possible for a sovereign, perfect, all-knowing God to author any day or any experience that is void of purpose?

The answer is no. A big, fat, unqualified “NO”.

Simply put, there are no “throw away days” in God’s book.

When Psalm 139 teaches us that “God has all our days written down in His book before there was yet one of them” it follows that every experience of your life, including your testimony, has a divine purpose.

You have a story. Are you telling it?

God reached down and pulled Mary and Ted out of the pit of addiction. That’s a crazy story. God also showed Himself to a 5-year old boy on a dark Sunday night while he was riding home from church, laying down in the back seat of his parents’ 1968 Dodge Cornet. Staring through the back window at a sky full of stars, that little guy, fresh off a sermon about the love of God, believed that Jesus died for him.

No one saw it. It never made the papers.

But it’s my story. And I just told it to you.

The Bible teaches us we “overcome by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus) and the word of our testimony” (Revelation 12:11) When we tell our story, we communicate the power of God. It is not our place to say our testimony isn’t as riveting or exciting as the next person’s. Ours is to faithfully tell our story to those God puts in front of us.

Why? Because Big Bad Biker Billy Bob doesn’t know the people you do. He will tell his story of God’s love and forgiveness in his corner of the world. You tell your story of God’s faithfulness in yours.

Be encouraged. You know more than you realize. How has God shown Himself to you in your life? Your career? Your family? In times of tragedy and crisis? In the experiences that make up your life? When you tell your story of God’s faithfulness as a person in process, you give hope to others in the middle of their struggles.

You have a story. It’s a good one. And it’s uniquely yours. Only you can tell it.

People are waiting, and needing, to hear it.

 

Todd A. Thompson – toddthompson.net

 

 

 

 

 

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Showing 3 comments
  • Mary Truax
    Reply

    Thanks Todd. Merry Christmas!

  • Dawn
    Reply

    My dear friend Carla sent me this. As i lay in my hospital bed anxiously waiting for Drs. Decisions, answers, and treatment. This has brought me a feeling of calmness, and understanding God has his loving arms around me. Thank you so much for sharing this in a place for all to read.

    • Todd Thompson
      Reply

      Dawn – Thank you for your kinds words and taking time to read. Prayers for whatever it is you are waiting on. Remember, God is large and in charge. He will accomplish (perfect) everything that concerns you! (Psalm 138:8). Blessings to you as you press into Him. – tat

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