Luke 8:39 (NKJV)
“Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you.” And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.”
Have you ever been watching an episode of your favorite series when in the middle of the action the words pop up, “to be continued?” How about sitting through two hours of movie and instead of getting a clean-cut ending, the screen fades out as the villain begins moving again? Maybe you get the latest book in a series and it ends with you not knowing if the main character is alive?
In all these situations there is a build up of anticipation that is not satisfied by the ending that happens. We want to know more. This can also be true in life when we get to a point where a situation ends and are not satisfied with its conclusion. Especially when you are enjoying yourself and its like your balloon is popped because its time to go home.
No matter what the situation is we have two choices. We can tell everyone of the great time we had or dwell on the point that left us unsatisfied. No matter what we are going through in life we can first look at what we have or what was going right. Starting with a positive focus can bring a better mindset when you turn to handle everything else.
Again, it is our choice on how we want to portray ourselves in life and the stories that we tell. Because almost everyone likes to hear a story and the really good ones are filled with the emotions that we experience when they happened. Much like the man who was freed from demons in the opening scripture I get to relive the overwhelming emotion I felt every time I tell of when I rededicated my life back to Christ.
My eyes well up and I can feel a sense of joy again that it is indescribable. That night was a major changing point in my life. People commented on how I seemed different and all I could tell them was the story of that night. At first it was difficult to share, but my outward change did help and soon I was sharing with whoever would listen.
I felt like the beggar Paul encounter in Acts 3:9-10, “And all the people saw him walking and praising God. Then they knew that it was he who sat begging alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.” But over the years my opportunities for sharing have been less and I have been led to reflect on this.
My story did not end and I have to keep adding to it to include what God continues to do in my life. I needed to be more like David in Psalm 71:17 and not stop declaring God’s love for me, “O God, You have taught me from my youth; And to this day I declare Your wondrous works.” Don’t be too shocked, but this made me think of baseball.
As a batter in baseball the idea is to hit the ball and get on base. We see coaches teaching young kids how to hit the ball and encourage them to just make contact. You can watch a little league game where the teams are making contact and scoring runs. But as these kids get older they seem to forget the lessons of their youth.
You see these paid professionals swinging for the fence and getting out, especially if their team is down late in the game. They forget the coaches from all those years ago where they were encouraged to make contact. More things happen in the game if every player would come up and just make contact. With all those balls in play eventually the hits start coming and runs will mount up.
This is similar to what pastors and group leaders teach young Christians. Those who have given their lives to Christ are encouraged to share our stories and what Christ has done in our lives with others. This might be as simple as just setting the example for those around us as we mirror how Christ taught us to live and can move into sharing our story when someone asks.
There can be many situations where we can share our story, but it starts with contact. We have to remember that everyone may not be receptive to what we have to say. Others may listen or even talk to us at length, but still walk away. This can lead us to a point where everyone we talk to we want them to repent right there, but when they walk away we feel defeated.
Again, leading others to Christ is about making contact, sharing our story, and being that example of God’s love. You may have those who will want you to lead them in prayer as they give their life to Christ while others walk away only to come back later to seek more. The choice is ours, we can swing for the fence every time and try to save the world, but soon we will feel defeated and not want to come out of the dugout.
Instead, we should walk with our heads held high being the example of God’s love as we interact with people every day. The best part about telling our story is that it keeps changing. We get to add every new blessing and every obstacle overcome to what God has done in our lives. Our story doesn’t stop being written no matter how old we get.
So, as we go out into the world we should remember Paul’s words in Colossians 4:5-6, “Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.” And not forget that all our stories have a beginning and a middle, but there is no end yet. As you continue to add details to yours enjoy, “Not Done With Me Yet.”
Lord, I’ve known you for so many years that it’s difficult to count,
But I have not always been close to you when doubts began to mount.
As a child I could remember the fellowship you brought,
Until family strife took that away and you were quickly forgot.
Some days you were closer I could feel you near but still so far away,
It was difficult to navigate the obstacles I placed in my own way.
My soul continued to yearn for you as I fought within myself,
No matter how hard I tried it could not be filled by something else.
Words and music brought me back to a place where I could see,
Your outstretched hand that was always there reaching out to me.
Your spirit then reassured me, no matter what I’ve done,
I could still be forgiven and I was still loved as your son.
As tears of joy streaked down my cheeks, no words could express,
The feeling of a burden lifted with a future of hope that you bless.
The journey with you has been incredible but I must not forget,
My story is still being written and I know you’re not done with me yet.
Simple Faith Christian