Psalm 71:15, “My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds, of your saving acts all day long—though I know not how to relate them all.”
As a pastor in The Salvation Army, I meet new people on a regular basis. I meet new people every time I change appointments from one community to another. My wife and I have learned that everyone we meet has a story. We have discovered that the best way to know new people is to ask them to share their story. We often ask people to tell us how they met their spouse, how many children or grandchildren they have. We just listen and take it all in.
Everyone has a story. Not all stories are made the same. Each story is unique, yet important. Some stories are dynamic and mind blowing like an action-packed movie. Some stories are quaint and calm, routine and have nothing “exciting.” Some stories are stories of joy and happiness. Other stories tell of pain, suffering, and loss. Yet, each story has shaped the individual. Each story is important. Each story matters.
I too have a story. My story began in Salisbury, Rhodesia in 1974. My story culminated to a dark time, when at the age of 16 years old, I contemplated ending my life. My father, an alcoholic subjected my mom, my siblings and I to untold physical, emotional and verbal abuse. At a weekend Scripture Union camp, I surrendered my life to Jesus. God gave me hope during my time of deep sadness. God’s love enveloped my young, hurting self. God’s grace ushered a second-chance I did not deserve. My life has never been the same since that weekend.
The Pasadena Tabernacle Songsters have been rehearsing a song entitled “My Story.” This song is a version of Fanny Crosby’s “Blessed Assurance.” The songwriter reminds us that my story is really His story. My story points to God’s unmerited favor, His grace. My story is a testimony of God’s unconditional love for me. My story is a story of hope.
Everyone has a story. You too have a story. It could be a happy story, a sad story, or a difficult story. If you look back at your life, you see the thread of God’s love, hope, and grace weaving through out your life. Even during the times of loss, hurt, hopelessness, helplessness, God’s prevenient grace has been chasing after you. Your story is a testimony of God’s love. Your story is His story.