We have heard with our ears, O God; our fathers have told us what you did in their days, in days long ago. Psalm 44:1 (NIV)
We’ve been hearing about this, God, all our lives. Our fathers told us the stories their fathers told them, Psalm 44:1 (MSG)
You know the story you’re hearing again. The one you’ve heard a thousand times. You only need to hear the first few words and you know exactly where you are headed. Down the convoluted paths of memory lane, the storyteller marches on. You follow, you have no other choice. But you know this story so well you could tell it yourself. It’s familiar, old as time, covered in a layer of dust.
Sometimes the stories in my Bible feel like that. Stories for another time, another generation. They are familiar. You’ve heard them for what seems like thousands of times rehashed in one way or another. Due to their familiarity, they seem to lose a bit of the spark and lustre that drew you to them in the first place. I sometimes wonder, doesn’t God have something new for me?
Then I turn the page. I pray for an open heart. I pray for new eyes to see what I have glossed over in the past. I ask for a mind that is receptive to what Jesus is wanting to say to me through these pages. Without fail, God shows up and reveals Himself again. Something new is waiting to be found.
Frankly, this whole series of Psalms has been that journey for me. I have spent time in the Psalms before. Sometimes I read them and songs pop into my head because so many of them have been set to music. The song can be a distraction and I’ve prayed for the song to end so that I can really focus on what God wants me to hear. For some Psalms, I know He’s wanted me to sing the song. His Father heart for me shows up page after page, Psalm after Psalm.
But it’s not enough for me to know the stories for myself. Every good story is worth passing on – that’s why we tell stories. How will the next generation know of the ways God has showed up in my life if I do not speak of what He has done? How will those who follow me be reminded of God’s faithfulness and trustworthiness if I don’t speak of Him moving that way in my life? If I don’t speak about the ways God has met me in times of doubt and wandering, how will they know that God goes before them and that He does not abandon them? It’s not enough to passively listen to someone else’s stories, God calls me to share my stories too.
So I will fall in line with all the other story tellers I know. I will add my voice because my God has done marvellous things for me – things you definitely should know about!