Have you ever wondered how God is going to use your life story?
Maybe, like me, you’ve lived an “easy” life. I have a great family and a good home. I’ve endured a few difficult things but nothing like what some of my friends have gone through. Does my story sound similar to your story?
I love the stories of people who have overcome huge challenges or been rescued out of a near-death situation. But that’s not my story. When I look at my life story so far, it’s easy for me to ask, “How in the world is anyone ever going to be encouraged by my ordinary story?” You might be asking that question too.
Ordinary Stories. Extraordinary Hope.
Let me rewind quickly to tell you about something that happened this year. In January, I went into prisons with a thousand other volunteers to do chapel services. The volunteers had every background imaginable: former inmates and addicts, pastors, homeschooled kids, public-schooled kids, teachers, bakers . . . everyone was represented.
During orientation one morning, someone raised their hand. “I don’t feel like I have a good testimony,” he said. “I grew up a pastor’s kid. I always listened to my parents. I was homeschooled. I never missed a Sunday in church. How is someone in prison supposed to be encouraged through that?”
Fast-forward to the next morning. The same person told us about what had happened in prison. He had shared his testimony with an inmate, and immediately the man turned to him and said, “Thank you for sharing that. I wish I had that testimony, but I don’t. You know what though? I hope that my kids will have a story like yours, not like mine. It gives me hope for their future.”
You never know how your “ordinary” story is going to give someone else extraordinary hope.
Isaiah 55:8 has this to say to us: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.” When we let go of feeling like it’s up to us to tell a powerful story and instead let the Lord use us for the story He wants to tell through us, so much pressure will be taken off our shoulders!
David was just an ordinary shepherd boy when God used him to slay the giant.
Esther was just an ordinary girl when God appointed her to become queen.
The disciples were just ordinary fishermen when Jesus enlisted them to change the world.
Over and over we see this truth in Scripture—God uses ordinary people to show the world how extraordinary He is!
We are not the authors of our stories. God is. And whether or not you think your story is special, God does. And He’s going to use it in ways you and I could never imagine.
PS: Whether your story is “ordinary” or “extraordinary,” we’d love to hear it! In celebration of the launch of You Can Trust God to Write Your Story we’re collecting your stories all month. Use the form below to share your story.