My personal bible story
Updated: Jul 21, 2022
As our ministry is focused this month on reading our bibles daily, I am faced with the realization that the many stories in the bible have lessons that are relevant in my life today. Recently, Thomas and I were at a praise and worship event, and the pastor was telling us that for the next song, as we sang along, we were supposed to insert our own words into the song, to make it personal to our own story. The song was “Graves into Gardens”. So, for the part where it says how God can take anything and make it for our good, we were supposed to insert something that God had changed for our good. For example: “You turn mourning to dancing” is the real line but my personal line was, “You turn fear into confidence.” And this made me remember one of my favorite hobbies as a kid. Have you ever heard of Mad Libs? If you were born before the year 2000 you may know what I am talking about. Ha! These were popular when I was young, and they were these wacky stories that had fill-in-the-blank spaces that you filled with a noun, verb, or an adjective of your choice and when you read the story, it was always so silly!
There is a common misconception among people that the bible is boring and that there is nothing relevant in the bible to our lives today. But I have found that that is simply not true, and God says His word never fails. My favorite bible story is known as the Prodigal Son or The Lost Son. I have heard and read this story probably more than a couple dozen times and every time I read it, God shows me something new about His unfailing love and about our broken human condition that desperately needs his love and grace. If you aren't familiar with the story, the gist is that a young man, the Prodigal Son, told his father that he wanted his inheritance now, not when his father was dead and he wanted to go live his life the way he wanted. So, his father gave it to him and he went off and squandered his money on "wild living". But one day he literally woke up in a pig pen and realized that he had made a huge mistake and he wanted to go home. And although he expected to have to beg his dad to hire him as a slave, there was a sweet and gut wrenching twist! When his father saw him approaching from a far way off, he ran out and kissed his son and before the son could get his whole prepared speech out of his mouth, his father was calling for the servants to put a robe on him and a ring on his hand (signifying he was his son, equal to the father) and he had them kill the fattened calf for a party! My synopsis doesn't even compare to the real thing, so go check it out for yourself in the book of Luke 15:11-32.
So, I thought about this story and how I could apply the truths of that story to my own life by performing my own personal twist on Mad Libs. It isn’t a silly story, but it's the true story of my life and it testifies to God's mercy and grace. And it goes something like this:
One day (in 1997), Laura told God that she wanted to live life her own way and she wanted her freedom now. So, God gave Laura her freedom to live how she wanted, and she went on her way. A few years later, after Laura had made many bad choices with her body, incurred a lot of debt, had many broken relationships and was left feeling lost and lonely, she decided that life was definitely better under God’s constant care and protection. So, with a repentant heart and a longing for peace and a real home, she said to herself, “I have made so many mistakes and lived far away from God for too many years and I realize that I need his forgiveness and mercy. I want to live the life that God has planned for me because He says in His word that He has plans to prosper me and not to harm me, to give me a hope and a future.”
But before Laura had even finished that prayer, God saw her broken spirit, and heard her tear-filled cry and He had compassion on her. God opened his arms as wide as he could make them, and he embraced her lovingly. He whispered softly in her ear, “I have loved you since before you were born. You are a beautiful creation and my son Jesus already died to take away your sins. My daughter was once lost but now she is found.” And he planned a huge party in Heaven and all the angels rejoiced because Laura had come home to her heavenly Father.
I have to say that after writing my own Mad Libs version of this story, the truths in this story are embedded deep within my soul because I can see how personally our God loves each one of us because he cared enough to write it down for us to read in His word. The story of the Lost Son (or daughter) in this case, applies to every one of us at some time in our lives. This story demonstrates the power of our Heavenly Father to wash away the mistakes and missteps of our past and draw us into a future full of hope and grace. So, I’m challenging you to re-write your own personal version of this bible story, and see what God reveals to you. Then, share it with someone who needs to know that there is a hope and a future for them too. God bless you friends!