Your Story

Have you ever wondered how your life’s story would read if it were part of the Bible? Would it be complicated or comical? Melodramatic or monotonous? Apathetic or adventurous? Heartbreaking or heroic?

I wonder what Moses thought of the whole Exodus story. His exploits were definitely legendary – the stuff blockbusters are made of – literally! However, his insecurities laid bare when God told him to appear before Pharaoh. He protested to God by asking, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11 NLT)

Ruth’s story in the eighth book of the Old Testament offers the reader a clear foreshadowing of Jesus the Redeemer. Ruth would be amazed to know that the account of two widows from Moab had been documented so well. She would no doubt smile as she read of the extraordinary kindness of Boaz.  Their union allowed her to be named in Matthew’s lineage of Jesus. She may have repeatedly asked the same question she first asked Boaz, “What have I done to deserve such a kindness? I am only a foreigner.” (Ruth 2:10 NLT)

And what about David? When God sent the prophet Nathan to tell him that his family had been chosen to become the royal and perpetual dynasty of Israel, David responded with, “Who am I, O Sovereign Lord, and what is my family that you have brought me this far.” (2 Samuel 7:18 NLT)

If we’re honest, few of us believe our names deserve top billing on a movie marquee, much less the pages of Scripture. We wonder how our lives could ever become page turners. After all, we’ve never parted the Red Sea, maybe never shown the loyalty of Ruth, nor slayed a 9-foot giant with a stone and a slingshot. In comparison, we consider our lives to be insignificant and boring. We may repeatedly ask ourselves or at least secretly think, “Who am I, and what difference can I possibly make?”

It’s true, few of us will be remembered as heroic spiritual leaders like Moses. Instead, most of us will be called to be ordinary influencers like Jethro, Naomi, and Barzillai. 

Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, gave him wise advice about delegating responsibilities so that he wouldn’t burn out before they reached the Promised Land. (Exodus 18) Naomi’s age and experience enabled her to encourage her daughter-in-law Ruth in a way that got them out of dire straits. (Ruth 1-4) Barzillai provided food and supplies for David and his men after they fled from David’s power-hungry, throne-seeking son Absalom. (2 Samuel 17)

Whether famous or obscure, all the men and women mentioned in the Bible have at least one thing in common; they each played a part in God’s bigger story of redemption that continues to lead people to Jesus. 

Can God also use every part of your story? Just ask Paul. He could have been one to say, “Who am I except a sorry, no-good persecutor of Christians?” Instead, he said, “This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.” (1 Timothy 1:15-16 NLT)

So, why are we tempted to discount the value of our life experiences? God continues to write and direct powerful stories in our lives that, when shared, slowly open the hearts of others. None of His work is insignificant or boring. 

Perhaps your most overlooked area of influence lies with those closest to you. With your spouse, you are the one he/she is glad to meet up with at the end of a long day. With your children, you provide comfort and security. With your grandchildren, you are the one they know loves them no matter what. With your closest friends, you are the one who takes the time to listen and encourage. In other words, you reflect God. But most importantly, with Him you are loved, cherished, and chosen. In Jesus, you are forgiven, accepted, empowered, redeemed, holy, blameless, and blessed with every spiritual blessing!

Pay attention to the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, and even the things you might think are insignificant and boring. Let’s reflect on how God is using all of it.  Then, let’s give others permission to enter into our God stories and be inspired. 

“Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness.
Let the whole world know what he has done.
Sing to him; yes, sing his praises.
Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds.”

Psalm 105:1-2 NLT

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Donna Jackson

The Good Life

By Donna Jackson | September 20, 2022 |

My grandparents lived in my college town long before I became a student. They made sure that I knew their house was my home. Even though they’ve gone on to their new eternal home, being back in that town still feels like home.   Wandering from street to street wakes up sweet memories. Traveling just a…

When An Alligator Is Under Your Armpit

By Donna Jackson | September 13, 2022 |

Nine months ago, our daughter and son-in-law welcomed a five-year-old little boy from Taiwan into our tribe. He wears a perfect smile most of the time, and his eyes light up when he sees a new face. He welcomes everyone into his heart immediately. No one is allowed to be a stranger in his world…

Going Back to Kindergarten

By Donna Jackson | September 6, 2022

Year after year, a reserved spot on my fifth-grade classroom wall displayed the same laminated poster. On it were the simple, yet profound words of Robert Fulghum titled, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Maybe you also remember seeing the same popular poster somewhere in your life.  After fulfilling my duty to laboriously…

We Interrupt This Program for a Special Announcement

By Donna Jackson | August 30, 2022

At 1:11 pm yesterday, our seventh grandchild arrived kicking and screaming. While I might have had time to string together a few paragraphs to craft a blog, I was much too excited to focus. I did, however, use my time to notice the goings and comings of those around me. Many young mothers wheeled by…


By Donna Jackson | August 23, 2022

Between church services Sunday morning I took a few minutes to do one of my favorite things – people watching. I observed men, women, and children of all ages, colors, sizes, and classes. Some men wore wrinkled sport shirts, others spiffy sport coats; some had donned long pants, others wore shorts; a few shiny wing…

Subtle Obedience

By Donna Jackson | August 16, 2022

What hints help you identify someone as a fellow believer? What causes you to inquire about someone’s faith? Are you drawn more toward people who do great public things for God or to those who work quietly behind the scenes? How might others recognize YOU as a believer? These are the questions I wrestle with;…

What Teachers Need From You

By Donna Jackson | August 9, 2022

As a first-year teacher, I soaked up every tidbit of advice my veteran cohorts floated my way. Some of it worked well for me, some of it didn’t fit my teaching style. I especially needed to hear how those master teachers conducted their parent conferences. Thankfully, I sat in on many meetings with a teacher…

Slip Sliding Away

By Donna Jackson | August 2, 2022

Maybe they just don’t see where you’re coming from. Or, maybe you’re looking at it all wrong. Maybe you’re both looking at things from totally different perspectives – from opposite ends of the spectrum. You intended to bless. They felt cursed. You see one side and they see the other. Whatever caused the rift, you’re…

One Team

By Donna Jackson | July 26, 2022

What seems like decades ago, (Oh, wait, it was decades ago.) I coached my daughter’s softball team for several seasons. I learned early on that it helped to keep a hit sheet, among other things, for each opponent. Knowing where each of their girls usually hit the ball allowed me to move my girls into…

God Was Not Surprised

By Donna Jackson | July 19, 2022

I learned the hard way that being negative can have adverse effects.  Maybe I should clarify that a smidge. My BLOOD TYPE is A negative, and apparently in 1959 hospitals could not type blood as well as they do now. After becoming anemic at age 2, I received a blood transfusion that introduced positive Rh factors…