Does Your Family Know Your Story?
“So that a future generation — children yet to be born — might know. They were to rise and tell their children so that they might put their confidence in God and not forget God’s works, but keep His commands.” Psalm 78:6-7 (HCSB)
When I married my husband nearly 30 years ago, I quickly learned to love watching sports … especially football. If you sneak into our house when we’re watching a game on TV, you’d probably see us with pizza in one hand, with the other hand coaching the players on their next move.
Within my family, my father-in-law is the biggest football fan of all. He remembers details from games years ago — plays that made history and the players who became famous because of them. So, it didn’t surprise me when he gathered our family together before heading out for a day of fun and asked us this question: What quarter are you in?
He equated our lives to quarters in a game. Being in the “fourth quarter” of his life, he shared some of the highlights of God's faithfulness during his lifetime: the plays that went as planned, the ones that ended with a touchdown and the ones that resulted in yards lost. Yet, he declared, throughout his entire lifetime, God has faithfully been there. He encouraged his kids and grandkids to pay attention to the time of life they're currently in, the second and third quarters, and to honor God with the time remaining.
Practicing today’s verse from Psalm 78, he wasn’t just giving us a family history lesson. His hope was that as he shared his story with God, his family would create their own. He called us to put our confidence in God, not in job success, family happiness or financial prosperity. He pleaded with us not to forget God’s works and challenged us to keep God’s commands.
Talking about the Lord — what He has done and all He is doing — is a normal occurrence whenever our family gets together. It’s not uncomfortable or out-of-place, because it’s what we’ve always done. By their actions, my father- and mother-in-love, as I like to call them, taught us to be confident in telling our stories, too.
When we weave storytelling into our everyday lives, God can move and use our stories to move others. We can slow down during our day and brag about God — not just in the the big things He has done for us, but the little things too! Making us not only recipients of His goodness, but tellers of it as well!
A simple step I take to help me remember to share my stories with others is writing about God’s faithfulness in a journal. Then, when life is hard, I go back and read how God did it once and trust He will do it again. We can encourage others to do the same.
Teaching our children to document God’s faithfulness prepares them for the “next time.” The next time they are worried about taking a test. The next time they are scared to try a new sport. The next time they’re anxious about a change on the horizon. Their confidence in God builds, as they remember how He’s been with them through other joys and struggles.
When it comes to sharing our stories with others, whether it’s the woman at work, the friend down the street, or with family surrounding us, don’t worry what others will think or how they will react. God will handle that. Just obey and see what He does. Hearing about His faithfulness might be just the push they need to put their confidence in God, too.
Father, help me. I admit I’m afraid to talk about You sometimes. Strengthen me to be bold and share the wonderful ways You have changed my life and trust that You will use my story to change others’ lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Joel 1:3, “Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation.” (NIV)
Judges 2:10, “That whole generation was also gathered to their ancestors. After them another generation rose up who did not know the LORD or the works He had done for Israel.” (HCSB)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Do you make it a habit to remember God’s faithfulness? Take a moment to think about one way God helped you through yesterday. Share that with someone!
How can you weave bragging on God into part of your everyday conversations?
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