I’ve returned from another weekend away at the Oregon Coast. This time I got to hang out with my family for the weekend. The Scott/Reid/Carroll/Smith crew spent time together laughing, crying, praying, playing, crafting, walking, shopping, and eating together. This year my sis-in-law, Beckie, and my cousin-in-law, Cori, and I took over the planning. I offered to do the devotional time. It was an honor to pray for each of the ladies on our trip and share with them what I felt God laying on my heart. I thought I would share with you our devotional message from Friday evening:
Read Deuteronomy 6
God Moments and Spiritual Storytelling:
This is one of my favorite passages in the Old Testament. It calls us to be story tellers and remember what God has done for us. It’s not just enough to remember in our own quiet moments, but it calls us to be vocal and to share what the Lord has done in our lives. We can’t keep it to keep it to ourselves. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get so focused on the future that I forget about the past. Now, I wasn’t there when the Red Sea parted and God delivered the Israelites from Egypt (shocker, right?), but I do have my own God Moments where God showed up big in my life. For me these were moments where God re-directed my life or revealed some life-changing truth to my heart. He has helped me conquer hurdles and obstacles. For me, these God Moments are the times when the Red Sea was parted and God showed up in a big way. When these God Moments are happening, it’s easy to see his hand and recognize his work. However, as time distances us from these moments, the details get hazy. Something we couldn’t stop talking about doesn’t come up as often. We move on and get back to life. This was a big problem for the Israelites. They seemed to have the attention span of a child. God provided miracle after miracle and yet they still didn’t trust him. Even with witnessing the awesome hand of the Lord fight for them, they were still derailed by each new struggle.
This is where Spiritual Storytelling comes into play. Since I work with kids, storytelling is a key part of helping them grasp the Word of God. It’s no different really when we grow up and become adults. We still need to have the element of storytelling. We need to be sharing with each other and the coming generations where God showed up in a big way. Here a couple reasons why Spiritual Storytelling is so important:
- It helps us remember – when we share our stories; it solidifies the lessons learned in our hearts and minds. It keeps the miracle fresh and live.
- It inspires us and others – I love that feeling of being on the edge of our seat as you listen to a good story. It’s compelling. When we share our stories, we inspire others in the middle of their own struggles. We are living examples that the Lord is good. Also, our stories will help us in the future. All of us will have many God Moments and have many Red Seas. When we remember how he has been faithful before, we can confidently walk into the next struggle knowing he will not let us go there alone.
- It keeps the legacy alive – There are moments in history that certainly define a family tree. I can think of couples who have broken the cycle of addiction or abuse, people who have made commitments to change the future for the next generation. These are moments that need to be shared. Even in my own life, I can see how my parents made intentional decisions and shared the reasoning with my sister and me. We are a part of their legacy. These major decisions and life altering moments can change a family tree forever. We must celebrate these changes and also guard the next generation from going back to destructive patterns.
I realize that not every environment is safe for sharing our personal stories. Some things will be shared with only a few. However, I think there is value in sharing our stories even if it is with just a few trusted people. You might feel that everyone already knows your story, but you’d be surprised how many actually don’t. Also storytelling isn’t a onetime thing. It’s repeating the miracles over and over. It’s about writing them down and making alters of remembrance in our lives. Don’t assume that everyone knows or that no one cares. We all miss out when you keep your stories to yourself!