“As long as we have our stories there is hope.”
“Will you read me a story?” is a common request in our household. It doesn’t matter if you are family, friend, or acquaintance. If you sit near one of the stacks of picture books, it’s likely a pair of tiny hands will bring you at least one, if not four, of them, accompanied by a pleading smile and excited eyes. Regardless of how silly or unusual the premise of each story seems to be, there is a bit of hope to be found in them more often than not. From Put Me in the Zoo by Robert Lopshire, I am reminded I belong somewhere, but it might not be where I think. From The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat, I am mindful that even when I’m doing the seeking, I could still need to be found myself.
As our year of DWITW 365 draws to an end, I can’t help but reflect on all the stories we have read. I’ve watched the genealogy of Jesus unfold across the pages, from Abraham to David to Joseph. I’ve been able to savor the grand chronicle that spans from creation to fall to redemption to restoration; from the Tree of Life in Genesis to the Tree of Life in Revelation. When I look back on it all, a few verses from the middle of Revelation sit in my mind:
“And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!’ ” (Revelation 12:10-12)
By the blood of Jesus, we are made conquerors. By the testifying of Christ and the work He had done, we conquer.
Our accuser has been conquered, our adversary overcome! Not only through Jesus’ death is the kingdom of God victorious, but also through the testimony of His people. A people who treasure their Savior and God more dearly than their very lives. By the blood of Jesus, we are made conquerors (Rom. 8:37.) By the testifying of Christ and the work He had done, we conquer. While God’s victory needn’t rest on the deeds of people, He chose to include us.
As so many before us, we get to participate. We get to be a part of this great story that is still unfurling all around us, even though the end has been decided. We get to speak of what Jesus has done, of His death and resurrection, of the new life He has given us.
And this testimony, this story we are to proclaim, to whom do I tell it? Anyone. Everyone. But especially my children. I tell them of a big God who became a tiny baby, of impossible hopes that took on skin, of beginnings and endings and beginning again. And in the light of that hope, I tell them of hurts and healing that go beyond kisses and band aids. Of death that brings life. Of Jesus.
And so I wage war against the darkness with my words. I fight to remember. I fight to remind. I fight to give my voice to the Spirit, that the truth of what I see and know of God and His kingdom, His Son, and His Spirit may be imparted to others. Through the vibrancy of Christ’s blood and the unfading tenacity of His love, we are transformed. Our stories merge with His in a tapestry of memory, time, and divine intervention. An intervention undertaken by a Man, whose face we’ve yet to see, who loved us enough to give up His life so we could dance in His presence forever. So that we could become part of the community He knew before the first flower bloomed or the first wind blew.
in the light of that hope, I tell them of hurts and healing that go beyond kisses and band aids. Of death that brings life. Of Jesus.
I can’t help but think of John when he was writing his gospel as I’m imagining the expanse of Jesus stories there were back then. Too many to count, too many to read them all. Too many for the world to hold (John 21:25.) It’s from that abundance of stories, that the testimony of Jesus’ work in my heart and life has bloomed into victorious life. A life of a conqueror in Christ.
Sisters, as you reflect on the past year, what are the testimonies of Jesus that have grown from your heart? What evidences of His love have given you life? How has He been faithful to refine your mind? What is the story of Jesus you need to tell?
In 2019, the DWITW blog will be focusing on the gospels, one each quarter of the year. We would love nothing more than for you to share your own testimonies of what you are learning as you read and study the life of our Savior. If you feel prompted to share, you can do so via our submissions page. We are so thankful for the work the Lord has done this year. We look on to the days ahead with great expectation of the stories we will hear.
Robin Zastrow wants to live in a world where coffee never gets cold and kindness abounds. When she's not discovering the wonders of construction paper and cardboard tubes with her two little ones, you can find her sneaking in another few pages of a book or jotting down bits of writing on scraps of paper.
One of her favorite Scriptures is:“Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.” Psalm 33:20-22 ESV