The substance of lore. The stuff of legend.
Unquestionably, stories have power to change the heart of man and redirect the course of his future.
Stories, after all, break down walls of segregation. They build bridges of empathy. They enliven the apathetic and encourage the downhearted.
Like a soothing balm, in fact, stories burrow down into dry cracks in the soul, slathering each broken place with what we all need most. A sense of significance. Meaning in chaos. The surety of possibility, purpose, truth, courage, acceptance, hope.
So, what if we saw storytelling as the psalmist David does?
What if we chose to embrace the profound impact God-authored stories can have? The powerful reality God-imparted stories can achieve as they awaken the everyman by lifting him from ordinary to extraordinary? From less than into legend?
Great men, after all, are never born that way.
They are made through the God-inspired stories they live. Through the God-infused stories they hear. All of which need to be told and retold again and again to perpetuate their influence on the next generation.
Consider what David declares,
One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—And I will meditate on your wonderful works (Psalm 145:4-5 NIV).
David, you see, understood the power of commendation.
He heard the “might acts” of God shared by those around him. He meditated on the “wonderful works” displayed in the Godly men and women of his own generation and even generations long before.
And from these stories he grew.
He learned to praise, to “extol my God the King,” to give credit where credit was due (v. 1). Because in the perpetuating patterns of human behavior, in our shared roots of sin, sickness and depravity, God always intervenes.
He resurrects, revitalizes, restores.
God lavishes His children with unconditional love and provides what is best, even if that means patience in seasons of waiting or moment-by-moment nourishment in seasons of drought.
David grounded his faith in God’s stories. He listened until his own testimony of God’s “glorious splendor” sprouted forth into the light of day.
And oh what a story it was!
A shepherd boy turned king of God’s people. An outcast turned conqueror of giants. A harp player turned poet for the ages.
David chose to listen, to meditate on God’s works.
And you can too.
Just remember these verses. Then open your ears to hear what God has already done.
And in you too.
Because God is writing your story. A tale of courage and grace, of resilience and triumph. Of hardship and possibly heartbreak, yet a tale of heroism too. But you have to share. You have to commend like David did.
Only then can others grow too.
What is one God-inspired story you have heard that has had a profound impact on you? What is one God-inspired story you have lived that you could share with others?