For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Light in the Darkness: Why Would You NOT Tell that Story?

"Why would you not tell that story?"

John's words keep rolling in my head...and so do some of the responses to my initial post.

Tone is often lost in written communication, so let me clarify some things that I believe were lost.

John was not accusing or attacking. He was sincerely asking. He has stories to share, too, and he'll tell anyone who'll take time to listen. I don't hear all the stories because I'm not around him all the time, just like he doesn't hear all my stories or know how much I talk about the things God has done because he isn't around me all the time.

Just so happened we were on the phone discussing how we as Christians can live lives for Christ that are relevant to the world. It's a challenging topic, and we don't cut each other slack on it. In the course of  conversation, he said if we want people to see Christ as relevant in their lives, they have to Him as relevant in ours. If we want them to see how He can impact their stories, they have to see how He impacts ours.

"You need to tell your story more."
It wasn't an attack. It wasn't an accusation of failure. It was an observation of someone who sees God in my story in huge ways and wonders why in the world I would put that light under a basket. I owe God the glory of lighting it bright and sticking it on a hill for all to see.

At first, it caught me off-guard. I thought I did that. I thought I talked about God and what He did in my life a lot. I thought...I was doing pretty good.

That's the ugly truth. I thought I was doing pretty good. And let's be honest, if I am doing pretty good, I'm probably doing well enough.

Except I heard that Whisper. "Can you do better?"

If my story is a light on a hill, can I stoke the fire? Can I share it with more of the darkness? Can I make it a bit bigger?

Can I do better?

Obviously I can. So I am.

In the Old Testament God commands the Israelites to tell the stories of His great acts so people remember and know why they worship. They tell their stories so they remember His goodness toward them even when things are impossible. They tell their stories to offer hope...especially when things are impossible.

Did the people know the stories already? Some.
Weren't the stories old? Not to folks who hadn't heard them.
What difference could that old story make? All the difference in the world.
Who would want to hear it anyway? Someone looking for a light in their dark place.

We tell stories to remind ourselves,
to give glory to God for His goodness,
to give people a reason to hope.

So, you have any good stories?

Copyright 2014 Jerri Kelley Phillips

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