This is a follow-up post to last week’s God’s Story about Cheryl: How I Blew It As a Dad. Many of you wrote to tell me you also have some guilt feelings for not remembering and telling your children about what God has done for you and your families.
Feeling guilty is one thing—doing something about it is something else. So here is quickie overview of the “something else.”
Why We Need to Leave a Legacy of God-Stories to Future Generations
- Deut 4:9-10. Do not forget the things your eyes have seen, or let them slip from your heart. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.
- Deut. 32:7. Remember the days of old, consider the generations long past. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders and they will explain to you.
- Psalm 90:16. May your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendour to their children.
- Psalm 77: 11-12. Our Lord, I will remember the things you have done, your miracles of long ago. I will think about each one of your mighty deeds.
- Psalm 102:18 Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord. (This command precedes a list of things God did for Israel.)
References to “remembering” and “not forgetting” occur, on the average, every fifth page throughout the Bible. Obviously God wants His people to notice and remember what He did for them and to tell these God-stories to their children, and even to write them down so their children and grandchildren can read them and praise Him.
- A God-story is not an autobiography, which is the story of our whole life.
- A God-story is not a memoir, which is the story about a certain period of our life.
- A God-story is the story about an event or incident in our lives, and our family’s life, where God acted to answer prayer, to protect, to heal, or to guide. It is about conversion, God’s provision, a divine coincidence, etc. Each God-story a testimony of how we, or our families, have experienced acts of God in our lives.
- When we write these stories, they will live on and increase in value, bringing praise to God, long after we are gone.
- Sit down, preferably during family gatherings, and pray for God’s help to recall some incidents that showed His action in your life.
- Ask yourself, “What events have happened to me, that, if they had happened to my grandparents, I wish they had written the story for me to read?”
- As you begin to share incidents, it will stimulate others to remember a similar happening.
- Jot down the key words or phrases of each event at the top of a separate sheet of paper to help you remember it.
- Once you have a half dozen or more events jotted down, answer the following questions for each incident:
- Who was involved?
- When did this happen?
- Where did it happen?
- What happened? What was the problem? How was it solved? What was said? What were my feelings? What was the result? These and other What? and How? questions will lead to the basic story.
- Why did this happen?
You now have the basic facts of your God-stories.
From there on just rethink the event and tell it, either by writing it out, or by recording it in audio. Just do what you can to get the story down on paper, or on the computer screen, or on the recorder. It is more important that you let your emotions, your excitement and your wonder show than that you write it out in impeccable prose.
No matter how your God-stories are preserved, you will know that you have pleased God Who will continue to receive praise and thanks from readers or listeners for generations to come.
And no more feeling guilty!