The Story within the Story

I didn’t set out to tell my stories to you, it just sort of happened that way.  I know that I have been hard work for God over the last 43 years but He has loved me enough and been patient enough to endure all my stuff ups. Through some extremely painful, funny and life altering experiences He has taught me His Ways and revealed His perfect love for me. Even now when I get myself into a bit of a pickle He takes the time to show me a better way for next time.

I like to think that my stories are a bit like the parables Jesus told. He painted these vivid word pictures to dramatize what He wanted to teach. While wholly make believe stories the  parables were related to the ordinary life of the people He told them to. Their purpose was not merely to entertain but to bring about a change of mind and a change of heart so that they could be closer to God. The word “parable” comes from the Greek word ‘parabolee’. In the Greek ‘para’ means beside, and ‘ballo’ means to cast or throw. In effect a ‘parable’  means to cast a familiar idea beside an unfamiliar idea in such a way that the comparison helps people to better understand and grasp the unfamiliar idea. The ‘unfamiliar idea’ in all the parables was a concept of the Kingdom of God.

In talking about parables Jesus explained (Matt 13:10-17) that those who sought God would get the deeper meaning, while the truth would be hidden from those who didn’t.  Through the telling of parables Jesus is trying to reveal the deeper meaning of His own presence among them, the meaning of His mission and His person and the meaning of the kingdom of God. In other words, what is important about the parables is the spiritual message they convey about human life, about our life with God.

While it might seem a bit lofty of me to compare my stories to Jesus’ parables consider this….the best chance God has of speaking to me about my life is to use the experiences that occur in my life. My stories aren’t parables because they are not make believe…they really happened! They are what I have lived and they have been what God has used to help me understand the way He works.  In the re-writing of my stories I have tried to be true to the lesson that God taught me through them at the time they happened. I often tell you my stories at my own expense. I tell them when it doesn’t suit me and even when it shames me because I want you to know that you can experience the same freedom, forgiveness and love that I do. In one of the first blogs I wrote I talked about taking our masks off. I believe that I have started to do that. You have read some of my ‘not-so-pretty- spectacular- failures’ but surely you have felt the redemption in them too. The beautiful truths that God has revealed to me have been things like ‘forgiveness brings freedom to my soul’ and ‘that He can and does love me no matter what I have done’. Also ‘no matter how much I stuff up He can still use me’.

You have a story too. A ‘life parable’ that God is speaking to you through. Are you listening? Can you hear God in your experiences? Do you get that He loves you and wants you to discover Him hidden amongst your life – bobbing up in unexpected places. God loves to interrupt our lives because He so desperately wants to be a part of them.  Don’t think because you are a Christian that you are smugly safe in the reading of this post – you probably have more to answer for because you have tasted the fruit but just don’t eat often enough of it. God wants more of you!  I know that is true for me.

Over and Out,

Catherine xoxox

2 Comments to “The Story within the Story”

  1. Very good blog. Thought provoking.

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