This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
1 John 5:14
Have you noticed lately, that everyone seems to be telling their story? From sunrise to sunset, someone is trying to get our attention through one of the many forms of media that we all choose to interact with. The airwaves are packed 24-7-365. Every storyteller insists that their story is the most captivating with an important lesson for the listeners. A whole industry has sprouted around this deep desire to be heard. Industry experts claim that they will teach you how to captivate an audience; they will teach you a few techniques to help you knit a memorable story together in such a way that your audience will hang onto your every word. But with so many clamoring for attention, and with a listening audience that is constantly distracted by a new headline and a new post every few seconds, have you ever stopped to figure out who is really listening; who has the capacity to really and honestly hear you; and are you really telling the right story anyway? Even more important is it the kind of story that others will tell and re-tell?
Recently, the dynamic CEO of Safaricom, the largest telecommunications company in Kenya, East Africa, died. The late Bob Collymore had a rags-to-riches story. He was born to a poor family in Guyana and died a wealthy and influential leader in Kenya. Under his leadership, Safaricom turned in the largest profit in the history of the company, but this is not what made Mr. Collymore unforgettable. What made this unique man unforgettable was his compassion for the poor in Kenya. He used his status, wealth and influence to make the lives of others better. Mr. Collymore did not tell his story; instead he lived it. After his death, thousands are now telling and re-telling his story and being challenged to live better lives because of his impact on them; and millions of people are listening and discovering a man they hardly knew, because of a life lived honestly, impactfully and eloquently.
The question therefore persists, who is listening to you, and who will tell your story after your time on earth is done? It is easy to feel drowned out by the tide of amazing stories others have to tell; stories that do not need a hook or a technique to carry them because they are powerful in themselves. This is the kind of story that God tells: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Pow! That’s impact. Jesus lived it and now millions are telling and re-telling his story and millions are listening and being transformed by Jesus’ sinless, impactful and eloquent life. The apostle John reminds the church that God’s story has become their story. John reminds them that as believers through faith in Jesus Christ, they have eternal life, and this bestows upon them the privilege of being heard. John says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that…he hears us (1 John 5:14).” Dear friend, are you telling your story or living it? Is it a story worth telling? Either way, you can be confident in this, God is listening, and he hears you.
Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of eternal life, and thank you for listening to me. Help me decrease so that you might increase in me and give me wisdom to distinguish which story to tell so that people will know that you alone are God. In Jesus’ name Amen.