We all have people in our lives that we think we know their story. We are of the opinion that the part of their lives we are familiar with is basically their story in a nutshell. Yet there is always the stories that rarely gets told. The stories that are hidden to the world. Only a very few people are ever told those stories.
Everyone of us have a story attached to our lives. We only share certain portions of our story with friends and rarely any part of it with strangers. Yet, we can learn so much about people if we only listen to their stories. The tragedy is we never take the time or make the effort to do just that.
I recently had the privilege of listening to one person’s story. Let me just say I have known this person for a number of years already and never had the time nor the opportunity to listen to the story of her journey through life. And believe me, it is a powerful story full of hope, perseverance, faith and the goodness of God.
Stories are an essential part of our lives. We tell stories to our children from the day they are born. We read stories as we grow older. We find strength and hope in stories. Stories have formed part of man’s existence since the beginning of time. The Bible is filled with stories and those stories have for centuries added meaning to our lives. We find solace in those stories. We see our own lives in those stories.
The greatest story ever told and lived is that of one Man being born in a manger, growing up and as a teenager having in-depth conversations with the Scribes. Later in life He began a powerful ministry teaching people about the love and grace of God. Unfortunately His ministry became a threat to those who thought they knew best and they plotted to kill Him. They eventually did, or so they thought. Fortunately for mankind, God had this particular story all mapped out to a tee. It was all part of His master story. The wonderful story of how He saved the world from itself. A story of unimaginable sorrow, yet unfathomable love. A story that to this very day holds the key to your and my life.
This story is worth telling over an over again. This story is worth celebrating over and over again. This story is worth trusting again and again and again. Jesus’ story is one of family. One of immigrants seeking refuge. One of listening. One of obedience. One of love. One of grace. And ultimately one of redemption for you and me.
I want to encourage you to listen to the stories of people around you. Those stories that they never tell as conversation starters. Those stories that they only divulge when they know people are interested and attentive. Those are the stories that really hit home and matter to them. The stories that we can learn from every time, if we only took time to listen. We live in such a hurried world that story time is a rare thing. Make time. Make time to listen, to learn and to be amazed by what God has done also in their lives. You might just be encouraged.
During this Lent, listen to God’s story of revolutionary love again. Make time to listen to the details of His grace and his compassion. Make time for God.
May we be listeners and may we find encouragement and love and grace in the stories of others.
May the ultimate story always remind us of the love that is to be found in a single story.