It is amazing how God can give us life stories that are 180° different, but when told, take on an eerily similar end point. I am really enjoying reading books where the author tells his/her personal Spiritual witness story. When comparing to my witness story, the story and witness sounds so individual to its teller, yet embodies feelings, observations, things learned and even physical components that tie my story to each of them.
One reason for that, the ultimate author is the same – Jesus, the Holy Spirit. The ultimate goal is to share the experience had, to build trust in God and God’s love that He has, and passionately wants to share with us, to bring both the tellers and the readers of the story into a closer, intimate relationship with Him.
I am not trying to say that if you’ve read one witness story, you have read them all – far from it. Each story takes on its own life and aspect that Jesus intends to teach His people, to draw us to Himself and to His outstretched arms. For instance, in “Unbridled Grace” (Dr. Michael J Norman), his book looks at the costs, joy, peace and freedom gained by fighting for truth. In the “The Shack” (William P Young), his book looks at the costs, joy, peace and freedom gained through forgiveness, even for the most heinous crime committed against. My book, “I Have Come To Set The Earth On Fire” looks at the costs, joy, peace and freedom gained when distancing our lives from the gods of our possessions that pull us back away from Jesus’ outstretched arms. Each of these three books stresses the importance of complying with and doing God’s will for our and the world’s salvation.
Each story brought a life changing aspect of Jesus’ love, experienced by each one of us, from a unique world view. Each one had a common element where the story teller had an intimate encounter with God that insured the strength to persevere and achieve this huge task to be thrust on them. In each story, the teller travelled a long Spiritual journey where Jesus built up trust in Him to stay the course.
Each of these three stories would not have been worth telling if the story teller said no, turned away from Jesus during these long and difficult quests. In each of these quests, the gut wrenching task at hand frequently caused the teller to pause and look back. The true strength of these three stories shows how the story tellers’ Faith and trust in God grew exponentially during the ordeal, allowing us to not only fulfill the initial task given, but to fulfill the ultimate task to write the story down, to inspire others, readers, on their own Spiritual journeys.
I recommend these two stories as well as my own. In each case, the writer’s story will cause you to ponder and cause you to possibly rethink a path you are now taking, or perhaps strengthen a trek you are currently on or contemplating with Jesus. All three of these stories embody the words of recent and beloved Saints St. Mother Teresa and St. Pope John Paul II – “God does not give you anything you cannot handle.”, and “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you.” If you have a witness story, I encourage you to go ahead and write it down (or have someone write it down for you). I would love to read and be inspired by your story. Amen.