The Bible is one long story, the true story of God calling and caring for his people the Jews, God becoming human and dying, and God working among the early Christians.
God’s story continues today. He continues to call, redeem and work among people. He shapes those of us in his family into beings more like Jesus and he works through us to call others. But often we’re too busy to notice what God is doing in our lives, or we’re too close to our situation to see him. Sometimes we confine God’s work into Sunday morning and shut it out of the rest of the week.
Sometimes, God gets our attention. Since God called my husband and I to bring his mother into our home a few months ago, I’ve been noticing some of what God is doing in my life. He’s changing my view of the frail elderly, giving me a new appreciation for the courage many have as their bodies and minds fail them. He’s shown me the future as it really is: completely unpredictable, not something my plans can control. Having a dependent at home again reveals my deep-seated desires to be independent of others and to prioritize my own wants and needs. He’s showing me, too, the privilege of sharing daily life with someone in their final years, a woman not perfect by any means, but a Christian who has served long and well and now looks forward to going home. And each daily challenge pushes me closer to Him, the only reliable source of strength.
So, what’s God doing in your life these days? What’s he teaching you through your experiences and showing you through the people along your path? What hard things is he asking you to do? Where are you celebrating with him? What new gifts has he given you to manage?
There’s value in looking for what God is doing in our lives. It reminds us that he cares for our growth as well as our needs, and it reinforces what’s important to him. It helps us count our blessings and see the opportunities hidden in the challenges. And whether or not we understand what he’s doing, looking for him in our lives motivates us to receive and respond to him in worship, his word, and prayer.
Sharing Our Stories
Do you ever ask your Christian friends, “So, what’s God doing in your life these days?” Sounds a little too personal, doesn’t it? It comes more easily if you’ve first mentioned what you see God doing in your own life. When we share our stories of what God is doing in our lives, we reap all the benefits listed above, and add to them the deepening of our bonds with fellow believers and the opportunity for another perspective. Perhaps best of all, we open ourselves to the possibility of mutual accountability in our Christian life, a significant spiritual discipline too rare in our day.
We can set up opportunities for story-sharing:
- Serve with others. Families and small groups can serve together. Notice the people you already serve with-your fellow Sunday school teacher, or the other men you cut the lawn with.
- Talk about service given, at home or in the group or over coffee. “What did you think about ….?” “Did you enjoy doing that? Why?” “What made you pick this ministry?” “Tell me why you’ve done this for – years.”
- Pray together before serving, while serving, and/or after serving. Pray for the individuals receiving your service.
When we serve people who do not know Jesus as Lord, we can listen to their story. We can share our story. And we pray we’ll have opportunity to share God’s story, the story that matters eternally.