We have a God who loves us and is so involved in the little details of our lives that we will never fully grasp the glory of His power, love, and might until we are with Him in Heaven.
One of my favorite promises in scripture is Romans 8:28:
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
God is working out the details of our life with a much bigger picture in view than our finite minds can begin to grasp. I believe when we intentionally remember God’s faithfulness in our lives, we start to get a glimpse of the vastness and majesty of who He is.
Yet, we are a forgetful people.
Turning our eyes to the Bible, we see the Israelites in Exodus. They experienced many incredible miracles right before their eyes (e.g., parting of the Red Sea, manna from Heaven). But each time they would forget God’s faithfulness and deliverance and go right back to asking where is God and why has He forsaken us in this desert?
Moving forward into the era of Jesus’ ministry, and we see Peter in John 13 & 18 who is adamant that he would lay down his life for Christ, but in the end, he denies Jesus three times before the rooster crows.
There are so many stories of the forgetfulness of God’s people all throughout scripture, where God has provided so much through the lives of His followers, but they forget so quickly.
We are no different.
It is so important that we are faithful to remember the goodness of our God individually and as a family. I want to point us back to the faithfulness of God. I want us to remember the path we have taken to get where we are today.
Two reasons why we should remember?
1) To help us realize how far we have come in life.
2) To be reminded of God’s faithfulness in mending all these pieces together for good.
So, I challenge you to take some time and walk through this little exercise to help remember God’s faithfulness in your life and your family’s. I am confident that you will get out of it what you put into it, and in the end, it will be worth the time you take to complete this simple exercise.
How to Determine and Write Your Story
In order to do this little exercise, you’ll want to grab a journal and pen, as well as commit to a few hours of work. Don’t hesitate to break it up over several days and commit to praying for God to use this time to help you remember and reveal these memories and seasons that He orchestrated.
On your piece of paper, divide your paper into three vertical sections. You can do this by folding your paper to create creases or by simply drawing three vertical lines.
1. Create titles
First, look back at the many seasons of your life, and jot down a title for each season in the first section. Be sure to space your titles out giving you plenty of room for the next step.
Some examples would for me were Preschool, Elementary School, Middle School, High School, College, Grad School, Marriage, My different job changes, major moves (from TN to CO), and the list goes on.
Your seasons may be similar to mine, or completely different. However, break up the seasons of your life, giving them titles.
2. Take a trip down memory lane
Second, jot down some memorable events, people, and moments in your life during each season. Don’t worry about putting them in perfect order, but try to capture all the memories into categories.
3. Summarize each life category
Finally, go back and read through the notables of each season and summarize how you can see God working in your life and shaping you for each stage of where you have been, where you are, and where he may be taking you.
When was the last time you thought about many of these things? Are there life events you had forgotten? Isn’t it encouraging to be reminded of how God’s hand has been all over your life?
We are a forgetful generation, and it is so important that we remember what God has promised and what he has already done.
How has God gifted you?
Now I have one more step for you. Looking at your whole story, think about and jot down some of the ways God has gifted you as an individual?
Consider how you can use those gifts for God’s Kingdom here on earth. More specifically, how can you use those gifts within your family and your home to intentionally apply the gospel?
Your Story Has a Purpose
God has a purpose for each and everyone one of us, but it is not for the purpose of our own glorification (albeit for our good), but to glorify the one and only God who is deserving of all the glory and honor and praise that we could ever bestow.
God has written our life story from beginning to end. Our past and journey is not without purpose. Our life story gives meaning to why He saved us.
Understanding our story as fully as we can this side of Heaven is an integral part to our witness. The hard parts of our life work in us compassion for others walking the same hard roads.
Reflecting on our life story reminds us of the lavish grace and mercy that has been poured out on us.
How much easier it should then become to extend that same abundant grace to those in our home. If we can figure out how to apply the gospel within our family, it will more effectively and naturally shine in each of us outside of our home.
Let us not forget like the Israelites, all the ways God has provided for us in His grace and mercy. Taking time to put pen to paper will remind us now and in the years to come of His faithfulness, as we review our life story over and over again.
Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth! Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! ~Psalm 96:1-3
Take the time to walk through this exercise, and spend time with God remembering, praising and worshiping Him for his faithfulness. This perspective change can impact you and the lives around you in profound ways. Once you complete the exercise yourself, consider adapting it and using it as a way to interact with your children and teach them about God’s faithfulness.
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