“Thank You for Their Stories”

4639F2BB-6EBA-4489-869B-254A3A9B45A5Choir tour was in full swing and once again we were standing before a congregation of worshippers prepared to lead them in worship with the songs we’ve been singing for nearly 2 months.

Before we began with our first song “Come Thou Fount” a brother from the congregation came front and welcomed us there and lead us in prayer. Although I had heard many prayers on this tour, one specific phrase from this man’s short prayer grabbed my full attention.

Thank you for each of their stories.”

This man is thanking God for my story. But he doesn’t know me at all!

He’s thanking God for the stories of the 37 other choir members of whom he probably doesn’t know either.

My story isn’t glamorous. It’s not exciting. I don’t even think it’s worth telling but here I hear a man saying:

~Thank you for each of their stories.~

That short sentence has changed the way I view my own story. It has opened my eyes to notice the beauty of other people’s stories that I may not even know. It has challenged me to appreciate the stories, yes, even the ‘usual,  undramatic’ stories, of the people I do know. It has encouraged me to discover more deeply the stories of those people closest to me.

But why are each of our stories important enough to own and share unashamedly?

For one reason

His name is Jesus.

His Story did not end with the grave and that’s what gives our stories HOPE and VALUE.

Try to imagine what it would be like to read the story of Jesus’ life for the very first time and come to the part of His crucifixion. Can you feel the disappointment? What about the grief? A good man who did no wrong is cruelly murdered at the hands of savage Romans. Death has defeated Him. The Man you have come to love by reading His story now lies dead in a cold tomb sealed from the grieving friends. Sadly you read the final chapters and it’s with unexpected joy that you read the verse, ” He is not here; for he is risen as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. ” Matthew 28:6

Two thousand years later and that story is still giving our stories hope. We see the reoccurring theme of God’s redemption and the power of Jesus’ resurrection woven tightly into the fibers of the smallest details of our days and in the darkest nights.

In the deepest valleys and in perplexing mysteries of life that characterize our personal stories we find Hope. Hope that spurs us on and gives us purpose to press on.  It’s not in or of ourselves but only in the power of our Living Savior, our Risen Lord!

Have you thanked God for your story? Do you thank Him when hard lessons are being taught and added to your story? Maybe your story has had some hard chapters you don’t want to talk about or revisit. Your story is still so important ! Allow God to use your story. You never know how many people will pray;

Thank you for their story.”