I was texting with a friend of mine this week whom I talk to every so often and she told me that ‘she has loved reading the stories of how God showed himself through other people and through his word in our lives these past several months. We need more of that…sharing stories.’
Story – an account of imaginary or real people and events told for entertainment.
Isn’t that why we love movies and books so much? A story is being told that draws us in; the ones that illustrate a villain, a heroin and even a guide normally grab our attention the most because we find ourselves identifying with a particular character – we identify with their situation, with their decisions, with their dilemmas.
Jesus spoke in parables all throughout the Gospels. A parable is simply a story. From reading the Gospels, it seems as though when Jesus wasn’t performing miracles, healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, or sharing a meal with someone whom the Pharisee deemed unworthy – he was telling stories.
Jesus was telling stories to teach us of the Kingdom of God, to teach us of Kingdom principles and he used stories as it’s the easiest way to get our attention, to illustrate how to love one another, and to reveal the heart of our heavenly Father.
Jesus tells us in John 14:6-7, “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Jesus used parables to teach us the ways of the Kingdom – things like the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-23), The Mustard Seed (Matthew 13:31-32), Hidden Treasure (Matthew13:44), the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32), The Lost Sheep (Matthew 18:10-14) to name a few. The Gospels are made up of over 20 parables to help us on our way, to encourage us, to remind us who our Heavenly Father is and to glorify his son – our Savior – Jesus Christ.
Just as Jesus used parables to build us up – one of the gifts we receive as believers and his followers is that when we experience him, our experience becomes a powerful testimony.
Testimony – evidence or proof provided by the existence or appearance of something.
1 John 5:9-10 says “We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his son. Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony”
Testimonies share about the power of Jesus in our life. Testimonies build up the body of believers and the Church. Testimonies give hope. Testimonies give life. Testimonies reveal Jesus.
One day, I can’t wait to listen to Townes’ testimony in his own words. In the span of several months, his testimony proves that Miracles are real today and the true nature of our Savior, that the Power of Prayer moves mountains, that our God makes the Impossible, Possible, that Hope can be found even in the hardest and darkest of circumstances, that God is moving on your behalf even when you can’t see it.
The Power of Testimony is that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). When we share our testimonies and the ways in which we have experienced our Savior, we are building up the faith of those around us, we are teaching them about Jesus, and we are showing them who Jesus is.
This may be my son’s story, but we have all been invited in, and so it becomes your story too. You are a part of it! You have followed us, prayed for us, interceded on our behalf, you have loved us, so his story also becomes a part of your own story. A story to share – a testimony to give.
We have been home a week today – and Townes’ story isn’t over, we have just entered the next phase. And in this phase, Scott and I are learning to do the tango (if we are lucky it will turn into the Waltz eventually). We are learning more about Townes and he is learning about us and this learning does not, unfortunately involve sleep, but we are learning none the less.
We spent Sunday celebrating our Savior and that our God is a God of making the impossible possible.