Each Friday morning I start my day with some amazing high school girls. We open the Bible and learn about Jesus. It’s the best part of my week. A few weeks ago our bible study asked a question I wanted to skip. We had only five minutes left before we had to trek off and get the girls to school, but 5 questions remained. So naturally, I looked to see which one was “the most important” and tried to skip ahead.
I started to read the last question I had carefully selected, but I was interrupted and asked: “Can we do this next one real quick?”
“Umm… yea, sure, go ahead.” The girls read the question, “What are some creative ways that you’ve seen someone share the gospel?” And the girls overflowed with answers. From videos to handwritten notes, Young Life club talks to social media, they had a lot of examples. I was pleasantly surprised by the impact of this question on each person in the room. Of course, we spent a few minutes talking about social media. We talked about the negatives of most platforms, but they were able to share ways that they’ve been pointed to Christ because of social media. It was pretty awesome.
And I almost missed it.
Good thing I didn’t, because these girls are the ones that first inspired me to share our story on this little corner of the internet. We’ve all read about the negative impacts of social media, the self-esteem, lack of physical activity, lessened quality of communication, blah, blah, blah. But what if instead, we saw people being brave? What if we saw compassion and faith? Gratitude and encouragement? Perseverance turned into joy? Maybe our little story can redeem the smallest corner of the internet, even if only one person ever reads it.
Often, this idea of sharing our story publicly is hard for me. I’ve seen handfulls of people share their stories and been inspired by them. Yet, when it comes to me sharing mine? It feels prideful, self-centered, and unnecessary. Questions creep into my mind like “Who wants to hear what you have to say? Only people with true hardship have a story to tell, this isn’t that hard. You’re just airing your dirty laundry.” But those are all lies. LIES. The truth is that telling our story is Biblical. God wants us to do it.
In Exodus, God tells Moses and Aaron over and over again to tell the stories of the Israelites to future generations.
On the night that God strikes down the firstborns of Egypt, but spares the sons of the Israelites, he says, “This day you are to commemorate for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord.” (Exodus 12:14)
After the Israelites walked out of Egpyt from slavery, God tells them ” In the days to come, when your son asks you, “What does this mean? Say to him, “with a mighty hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” (Exodus 13:14)
When the Lord sent just enough manna to sustain his people each day, He said ” Take an omer of manna and keep it for the generations to come so they can see the bread I gave you to eat in the wilderness when I brought you out of Egypt. ” (Exodus 15:32)
And when the Israelites defeated the Amalekites by the miracle of God He said, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered.” Exodus 17:15.
All throughout the Bible, Old Testament, and New, God commands his people to go and tell the people of His mighty hand. His awesome work. His great power, compassion, and love.
I’ve been struck by how over and over again the Bible instructs us to memorialize what God has done through physical representation, verbal storytelling, or written documentation. He does not want us to forget His great deeds. And sometimes that means sharing, even when it feels scary.
All of these things have been slowly nudging me for weeks now. I’ve been asking God from the beginning how much should we share? How do we share? And slowly, very slowly He has made it clear. Wednesday morning as I sat in my bible study group discussing the Israelites defeat of the Amalekites, someone answered the simple question, “How did God tell Moses to memorialize this victory?”
“Write it down.”
That was the final answer for me. Write it down.
So, I will. I will memorialize all that the Lord is doing in our lives and in my heart. It won’t be perfect. My words may be messy. I’ll often have to fight off the feeling of caring too much what people may think. But, obedience to God changes lives. So, I will obey the best I know how. Take it or leave it, but I pray it does some good in the world.