Have you ever been through anything significant in your life? Has your life been a good tale or a bad tale of experiences? Can you honestly say that you’ve learned nothing from the situations you’ve been in? Lastly, did you know that everything you’ve ever been through or are currently going through has a purpose AND can become a breakthrough for somebody else? Whether you’ve answered “yes” or “no” to any of these four questions, allow me to shed some light as to how your life’s experiences can become a personal blessing for others.
NEWSFLASH: YOU ARE A CHANGE-MAKER!!!
We all have a story to tell. We all have been through many things in life that has taught us many lessons. Even if you have yet to learn the lesson, due to the chapter you are currently in, you still have a story to share. What you’ve gone through, someone else is going through; therefore, that person can benefit from hearing your story. Contrary to popular belief, none of us go through things alone. Not only is God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit there to comfort, protect, love and lift our spirits, but there are generations of people in the world who have gone through, or are currently going through, the same exact thing(s) that you are struggling with.
I know sometimes when you’re going through the pain of heartache, financial loss, abuse, dashed dreams, grief, depression, stress, uncertainty and fear it’s hard to believe that anyone can relate to your circumstances; but knowing that you are not alone should bring you some comfort, and dare I say encouragement. If they got through the same problem you’re currently going through, then there’s proof that what you’re going through will not be the end of you.
That’s why I’ve grown to love reading the Bible so much! Not only was it the sole significant reason for turning my life around and getting me out of that dark, grief-stricken and depressed place I was in, but there are a plethora of amazing stories about regular people, like you and I, who overcame all sorts of odds and went on to become great people who did extraordinary things. No one problem is too unique for someone else to relate to because there’s a story in there for every walk of life.
From depression (sadness), grief, anger, bitterness, hate, love, marriage, friendships, enemies, mother-daughter issues, father-son problems, job loss, brokenness, etc, no matter what you’re going through, there’s a story in the Bible documenting how someone else went through that exact same thing and how they overcame it all.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” (2 Timothy 3:16 NLT)
It is our shared journeys in life that make us human. It is the stories of women and men, who went through great obstacles and overcame major triumphs and downfalls, that can help us get through this thing called life. Throughout time, no matter the good, the bad, the ugly, there has always been someone who has gone through that exact same thing you’re going through. Their stories, whether shared in folklore or told in books like the Bible, is proof of just how powerful God is and how His work through one’s life suffices.
When Jesus embarked on His journey at 30-years-old to teach the Good News of God’s Kingdom and to transform the lives of anyone He encountered, He understood the power of storytelling. He purposely told parables or stories in order to relate to people from all walks of life. Economics, political status, culture nor educational background mattered because His stories were relatable and easy to follow along for everybody who wanted to listen.
“His disciples came and asked him, “Why do you use parables when you talk to the people?” He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them. That is why I use these parables, For they look, but they don’t really see. They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand.” (Matthew 13:10-13 NLT)
By telling stories, it also helped others learn just how wonderful and powerful the true God and son of God is. Every time He would perform a miracle, someone would run and share their story. Even those who witnessed the miracle would tell the story to anyone who would listen. I’d like to consider this as “good gossip.” It’s because of this good gossip being spread that people were even more inclined to serve and follow Jesus Christ and His teachings.
Jesus chose disciples to follow Him from all walks of life. I believe this was done strategically so that they could identify with people and people could see themselves in them. One rule about storytelling is that a story isn’t as impactful if no one can relate to it.
“One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” And they left their nets at once and followed him.” (Matthew 4:18-20 NLT)
“The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Come, follow me.”” (John 1:43 NLT)
“As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Levi got up and followed him.” (Mark 2:14 NLT)
“Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.”” (Matthew 26:34 NLT)
“A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.” (John 21:17 NLT)
Each person Jesus ever called had a specific title, job trade, sin, situational issue or problem that they were facing in their walk of life. Some were fishermen, while others were tax collectors. Some were adulterers, and others were prostitutes. Some were lepers, while others were battling demons. Some were single, while others were married. Some were young and some were old. Some had jobs, while others were trying to find themselves. Even Peter, the one that Jesus instructed to start His church, denied even knowing Jesus three times when He was asked about his affiliation. I think by now you get the point. Regardless of each individual’s background, they were ALL considered sinners, all required saving and all could be used for God’s glory!
““But what do you think about this? A man with two sons told the older boy, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ The son answered, ‘No, I won’t go,’ but later he changed his mind and went anyway. “Then the father told the other son, ‘You go,’ and he said, ‘Yes, sir, I will.’ But he didn’t go. “Which of the two obeyed his father?” They replied, “The first.” Then Jesus explained his meaning: “I tell you the truth, corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the Kingdom of God before you do. For John the Baptist came and showed you the right way to live, but you didn’t believe him, while tax collectors and prostitutes did. And even when you saw this happening, you refused to believe him and repent of your sins.” (Matthew 21:28-32 NLT)
We, as believers, are to be living witnesses to the grace, poise, compassion, empathetic love and goodness of Jesus Christ! We are all meant to share our knowledge, tools and life lessons to help others overcome whatever they are dealing with. That’s why we each have a specific walk of life. We each have encountered something that broke us in some way. Whether that brokenness is debt, bankruptcy, heartache from love lost, grief, depression, fear, anxiety, any form of abuse, etc, we are ALL meant to use what we’ve learned in order to help someone else.
“So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!””
(2 Corinthians 5:20 NLT)
I encourage you today to challenge yourself to be transparent with someone else. Each of us has a story to tell. Remember you are a change maker! You can help someone by sharing your story. Start by sharing a funny story from your past that taught you a lesson. Try offering up advice to a friend, loved one, coworker or stranger who may need an encouraging word. Use your life’s lessons to be a beacon of hope for another. Whatever your story is, no matter how insignificant it may appear to you, it is powerful and can be a dynamic turning point for somebody else.
I pray that God gives you the strength and courage to not only be real with yourself, but to be real with someone else. May you allow your story to be used to help better another person’s life. I pray that you receive a blessing from God for your obedience in obeying His word and for the honesty you shared with another. In Jesus name, I pray Amen.
Sincerely with love,
Travel photography by IG user: @christofs70