Stories are incredibly powerful. They pull us in with characters who want what we want. They inspire us to be brave. They remind us of what is possible. They challenge us to believe. They offer vivid descriptions of places we’ve never seen, and experiences we’ve never had. And they give us clarity about what matters most in life.
Because of this everyone loves a good story. As a matter of fact, we love stories so much that we spend over 20 billion dollars a year on them. That’s a lot of money to hear, read or see a good story.
But stories aren’t just found at the box-office or in a good book. Stories are all around us. Every single person we meet has a story. And possibly the greatest realization someone can make is to see that their story fits into the greatest story ever told – God’s great story of redemption.
When people understand this they begin to see that they can be healed, renewed, redeemed, and born into a new life. Simply put their story can become beautiful and full of meaning. They can be found. They can be forgiven. Their hurts can be healed and God can meet their deepest needs.
So the question becomes how do people begin to understand that their story fits into the greatest story ever told?
This happens as they hear our stories. In other words, as people hear how the gospel has changed us, they begin to see how the gospel can change them.
In John 9, Jesus meets a man who was blind from birth. Up to this point, this man’s story was one of discouragement, shame and despair. People wonder if he was blind, because God was mad at him. And quite possibly, this man wondered the same.
Wanting to display God’s power to transform a person’s story, Jesus spat on the ground, made some mud with his spit and put the strange mixture on the blind man’s eyes. Then Jesus told the blind man to wash his face in the pool of Siloam.
The man obeyed Jesus and miraculously, he could see again.
In this we see that as the blind man’s story intersected with Jesus, he experienced healing and his story changed. He once was blind, but now he sees!
As news spread about this miraculous healing, people started asking questions. How did this happen? Who caused this miracle?
What is so refreshing is how simple the man’s response is to all the questions. It takes all of seven words. I was blind. And now I see.
Isn’t that refreshing? He isn’t long-winded. He isn’t fuzzy about the details. He has no sense of superiority. He doesn’t talk in religious code. He just tells his story and points to Jesus the one who changed his story. Then he shuts up and lets people decide if they want to believe.
The challenge for us is to do the same because our story can have a profound impact. So it is worth reflecting on and it is worth telling.