Your Powerful Story
The paint melted against the house in the hot sun. Exhausted by the thought of another thick, dripping brushstroke, I climbed onto the porch and collapsed into a rusty chair that gently creaked as it accepted me. “It’s a hot one,” proclaimed Ms. Johnson, appearing in the front doorway – an icy glass of water extended my way. “This’ll make you feel better,” she smiled.
For the next 20 minutes as the rest of my crew continued to slap sky blue paint on the weathered white exterior of the house, I told Ms. Johnson about my family, my school and even my doubts about God. And for the first time in a long time, as this 70-year-old woman leaned in and nodded knowingly, I felt truly listened to. And that simple but too-rare gift of someone’s full attention made me imagine that maybe Jesus was a little bit like Ms. Johnson – leaning intently toward me when I pray, listening carefully and nodding knowingly.
How does this story make you feel? What are you thinking about? Is there anything you want to do after reading it?
The thing is, this story doesn’t tell you what to feel, what to think or what to do. It simply shares an experience, but somehow that experience holds power.
Stories Have power!
That’s why Jesus told stories about a runaway son, a lost sheep, a tiny mustard seed and a priceless pearl. Imagine the attention Jesus got when he started telling a story by saying, “So this sinner and this religious leader walk into the temple…” People probably thought Jesus was going to tell a joke, but he ended up teaching them a lesson about being broken and restored. (You can read it in Luke 18:9–14.)
Because stories have power, Jesus’ followers didn’t just write a list of the cool things Jesus said. Instead, they wrote down true stories of the incredible things Jesus did – like the time Jesus took on the job of a poor servant by washing his followers’ feet (John 13). Or the time Jesus went to a house to raise a girl from death and, on the way, a sick woman just touched Jesus’ cloak and was healed (Matthew 9:18–26).
It’s not surprising that four of Jesus’ followers wanted to write about what Jesus did. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John each wrote their own collection of stories about Jesus, and we still read their stories today! And those stories have changes countless lives.
You have a powerful story!
Because Jesus is still doing incredible things! You might have seen Jesus at work around you during your mission trip. Or maybe you experienced Jesus working in or through you. Those stories should be shared!
Imagine what would have happened if Jesus’ followers had never written down their stories about Jesus. We would have never understood how Jesus came to live and die and conquer sin by rising from the dead! But God worked through Jesus’ followers to share the most important story ever told.
Just like Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, you have a story about how Jesus is at work. Let God work through your story and see just how powerful it really is.