Sunday, December 11, 2016
the power of a story
And one of the best ways we have to fight against those factions is through stories that build up our faith and help us remember who our enemy really is. Stories are very powerful, and the following story will demonstrate that.
There is a (rather silly) story that many people like to tell (I heard it told by the pastor of the church where I go just this morning) about a man in a flood. The man finds out that a flood is coming, and he decides that God is going to save him.
Two people come by in a truck and tell him to come with them, but he refuses because God is going to save him through a miracle. Then the water rises, and the man goes to the second floor of his house. A boat comes by and the people tell him to come with them. He says no, God will save him through a miracle.
Then the waters rise more, and he goes to the roof. A helicopter comes and they say come with us. He says no, God will save him through a miracle. Then the waters rise again and the man drowns.
He goes to heaven, and yells at God. "I trusted you to save me! Where was my miracle??" And in the story, God says "I sent you a truck, a boat, and a helicopter. What more did you want?"
And the story usually ends there, the point being that we should realize that God uses the things and people in our lives to do His will, and doesn't directly intercede in our affairs usually. So we should watch for our opportunity to help other people, too.
The story misses the most important point. There is great truth in this story that most people don't see. When the man yells at God for not saving him from the flood, where is he?
See... the story teller, and most people who hear the story, don't notice that God DID save the man from the flood through a miracle. God sent His son, who fought off sin all of His life, and died a hero's death, victorious on the cross having defeated sin. And then, another miracle. Jesus rose from the dead, defeating death so that we can live forever.
The man on the roof who waited for God to save him through a miracle... was saved by God through a miracle. The most important thing that could possibly happen to him DID happen. He was saved from his sins, and from death, and went to heaven. "What more could he want?"
So we see the power of a story. Stories put things in perspective. They teach us things, even things that the person who invents the story didn't put in it on purpose. Even things that those who repeat the story don't notice. God uses stories to speak to us.
God, thank You for speaking to us through stories, and for saving us through miracles that are so huge we can't see them until we back up and see the biggest picture of all.