Stories And Stones:
Telling stories is what this blog & website are all about.
God knows we are forgetful. That’s why, several times in the Hebrew Scriptures, after God did something seemingly unforgettable (like parting the Jordan River in the book of Joshua, chapter 4), God stopped the train to say in effect:
“As awesome as this thing is I’ve just done, you will someday forget this took place and that I am the One who did this on your behalf. Before you do anything else, stop and erect a memorial to remind yourself and the generations to come that this great miracle I’ve done, did in fact occur.
Gather 12 large stones from the middle of the river and place them in a pile on the bank. Whenever you see these stones, remember what you witnessed here today. Remember my power and love for you.
I promise you, as much as it may feel like what has just occurred could never be forgotten, you will in fact forget. Therefore, make a reminder for yourself before we move on from this place.”
Every one of us today have a lot in common with the Israelites of old. It’s called: human nature. Some folks who haven’t read the Bible don’t understand how true stories about people who lived thousands of years ago can be relevant to our lives today. But human nature hasn’t changed since the dawn of time. The mistakes and follies of those who lived in centuries past are the same we all struggle with today. Their vices were no different from ours. We are just as prone to forget as we ever have been.
“In the future when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Tell them it is a memorial testifying that in impossible times – God is faithful!” Joshua 4:21
That’s really what this website is all about: not forgetting.
These “ripe banana stories” are for me, so I won’t forget them.
If I don’t take the time to remind myself of the things I have clearly seen God do in my past, I struggle to trust Him with the challenges I presently face as well as those looming in the future.
When I keep in mind the growing number of incredible things Jesus has done in my life, my faith is strong to trust Him in the midst of today’s challenges. But as soon as I forget the many things I’ve seen Him do first-hand, my faith starts deflating faster than a whoopee cushion.
I have found, for me, trusting in Jesus makes all the difference. When I don’t trust Him to provide, to come through for me, to be all he says he is… my life falls apart pretty fast. Peace is a stranger, Joy is fleeting and Hope, a rare commodity I can’t afford. I’m short with others. I waste my energy worrying over things I can’t control and don’t understand, I waste my time with plans that aren’t needed in the end, I am unhappy, discontent, unfulfilled and ungrateful. I try to seek from others what I can only find in Jesus.
But when I trust Jesus with every aspect of my life, I have peace that literally knows no bounds. Joy and Hope are at my side like two old friends. This is why I want my faith to be strong, why it is important I not forget God’s faithfulness to me.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
These stories are also for you.
It is my hope and expectation these stories will remind and convince you Jesus is alive, He loves you unconditionally and wants to walk with you through every moment of your life. How do I know these stories will encourage you to draw near to your infinitely faithful, good and loving Creator and encourage you to trust in Him?
Because even though I already know the ending to each of the stories on this blog, I am encouraged and challenged all over again every time I read them.
I am convinced your stories will do them same for you and for others, if you have the courage to share them.
Every Jesus-follower has a story to tell. Every. Last. One.
Unless you just met Jesus for the first time today, anyone who knows Jesus personally has more than just one story to tell about what He has done in, for and through them.
I love listening to others’ stories. I love to hear about the unique ways Jesus has proved His faithfulness to others. What I find tragic is when someone is asked to tell a story of something Jesus has done in their life and they respond:
“I don’t have any stories to tell.”
If you’ve thought the same, know this: it just isn’t true.
You do have stories.
You’ve just forgotten.
Even stories that may seem dull to you could be the story a friend or neighbor needs to hear today. We can’t judge whether or not our stories will bless and encourage others. Our job is to not forget our stories and to tell them to ourselves and to others often.
If you can’t think of your own ripe banana stories, ask Jesus to remind you. He will be more than happy to jog your memory! 🙂
Then erect your own memorial. Maybe they will be pictures, objects, journal entries, your own blog or even literal stones! Use whatever will help you not forget. As the saying goes,
“If you don’t use it, you lose it!”
Review your stories often.
If you don’t actively find ways to remind yourself of the things you’ve seen God do in your life, you will forget. While taking the time out of your busy life to type a journal entry about how you saw God’s fingerprints in your life today doesn’t sound like a high priority, forgetting can have some big consequences.
Being mindful of who you know God to be will bring peace, joy and blessing not only to you, but those around you too. Take David for example.
When persuading king Saul to let him fight Goliath, David remembered the times he had fought a lion and a bear. Because he recalled his personal experience of God’s power and protection in the past, David was confident and at peace God would help him fight Goliath too (see 1 Samuel 17:32-37).
Had David’s confidence in God been weak and insecure, had he not been mindful of his previous up-close and personal encounters with God, the history of the Israelites from his time on may easily have looked very different!
We all have our own stories.
They need to be told.
And in order to tell them, they must be remembered.
“Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation will commend your works to another;
they will tell of all your mighty acts.
They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They will tell of the power of your awesome works,
and I will proclaim your great deeds…
All you have made will praise you, O Lord;
your saints will extol you.
They will tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might,
so that all men may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.”
-Psalm 145:4-6, 10-13
Here’s to remembering!