The Bible consists of thousands of stories, songs, parables, and poems. Each of them tell of the journeys of real people experiencing God in real ways. Conflicts of the heart and tragedies abound and so does redemption and restoration. Unimaginable grief as well as indescribable joy are wrapped in tales of destruction and healing. Life and death, and death and life, lives lived and lost, and lived again. Generation after generation the stories have been told and heard and told again. We have all visualized the gleam in the eye of the young shepherd boy when he saw and heard the armor clad giant crash to the ground. Who hasn’t imagined what it looked like when the sea swallowed the entire Egyptian army of soldiers, horses, and chariots. We have placed ourselves somewhere in the crowd and watched with wonder as a nameless little boy freely gave his loaves and fishes and became a part of a miracle. And that miracle not only impacted the thousands on the hill that day, it has impacted millions and millions of people for some two thousand years.
We so often overlook the power of story. We would live very different lives if it were not for storytellers. Every generation has them, for every generation must have them. Whether they are songwriters, poets, script writers, authors, artists or actors. They are vital to the human experience in every culture in every generation. Whether they are preachers, educators, journalists, or shade tree philosophers, they are necessary. You can categorize or colonize them however you like. But, when all is said and done they are simply “guardians of memories”. They are the ones that awaken us to truth and facts, with words and images that bring revelation worthy of responses. They are the ones that remind us that there were “five” smooth stones there that day. Who could have imagined that it would ever be necessary to know how many stones there were. It only took one stone to take the giant down. Need I remind you that Miriam played a tambourine and Jesus walked on water. Yes, we must be reminded, because what God has performed in the past can be counted as promises to future generations. To remember his mighty acts is to value them, and what we value in God determines what we access in life. So, if we value the mighty and wonderful acts of God it changes our understanding and alerts us to new and wondrous possibilities in our daily lives.
To hear and know other people’s journey is to hear and know their victories and their defeats. It’s not always about the seas parting and giants falling and storms being calmed and blind eyes opening. Sometimes the overlooked miracles, you know the small quiet ones that seek no attention, seem to reveal the character and nature of the Father the most. They are the quiet daily occurrences that many times go unnoticed or are not understood, and sometimes noticed but misunderstood. Then, one day they sneak back into our lives in the middle of a story. Sometimes those are the ones that over time tend to impact us most. They carry the lyrics that are the purest expressions of our lives. They speak of our tragedies and conflicts and grief and many times never say a word. The quiet miracles that are heard between the lines in our stories, the heavenly knowings that come flowing out of remembering and in their telling they tell us who God really is in our life. I believe the revelation that is gained through this very natural process born out of relationship truly delights the Father.
And, every time we revisit one of those remembrances, we have an opportunity to gain greater understanding and revelation. Its not that we relive the learning experience with all its harshness or its joys. It’s more about renewing and reaffirming the revelation that we gained through the experience. To tell the story is to awaken the value systems and gratitude of heart and walk thankfully again through the experiences that shape us. It is knowing God, while seeing and hearing giants fall. It is knowing God, while hearing horses and chariots. Awakening is seeing God and living to tell about it.