Everyone likes a good story. Some people can immediately tell their story, while others can’t. Many of us struggle to understand our stories due to emotional pain, self-deception or pressure from family members who don’t want us to talk about the past. Whether we chose to acknowledge the past or not, we each have a story to tell. Understanding our story is the key to our healing.
Stories Teach Transformation
The Bible is full of stories about people who have gone before us. What would the story of Joseph, governor of Egypt mean if we had not learned the story of how his brothers sold him into slavery? Or the story of Moses if we had not heard how he was miraculously saved from genocide and trained to be Pharaoh before his shameful act of killing a man?
Consider how the story of Saul turned Paul reveals his conversion and gives credibility to his teachings. Moses wrote his story and Paul is recorded telling his story at least twice (Acts 22 and 26). Without the back-stories, Bible stories would have much less meaning. When we discover how God dealt with each person in love regardless of their mistakes, it gives us hope to make better stories with our own lives.
Our Brain Stores What We Don’t Acknowledge
Scientists have discovered our brains record everything. Famous neurosurgeon Ben Carson once said in an interview that every book we read in the fourth grade is still in our mind, we just have to access it. This also means every slap, every scream and every abuse is stored in our head. At any moment a scent, a sound or voice could trigger us to have a flashback. This is why some American veterans suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Some have PTSD because we’ve survived a war in our own homes.
A soldier is prepared and trained for combat, but a son beaten by his father is not. A soldier who comes home might realize at times he is safe, but a young girl molested by her pastor has had her most sacred trust betrayed at a time when she was at her most vulnerable. Home for this boy and church for this girl might always feel like a war zone unless they learn to put their abusive pasts into perspective. When we tell our story we discover we are not alone in our pain.
When we tell our story,
we heal ourselves and we heal others.
-Iyanla Van Zant
Stories Bring Healing
The Bible is full of stories for a reason. Hearing the stories of other people helps us understand our own story and knowing the story of Jesus brings healing. The word for salvation is Sozo which also means healing. When the Bible talks about salvation it is talking about spiritual healing for eternity. We all need healing because we were born into a sin damaged world.
This is what the Lord says:
‘Your wound is incurable,
your injury is beyond healing…
But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds…’
-Jeremiah 30:12-14, 17
Most of us feel ashamed of things we’ve done. Pride keeps us from owning our mistakes, but the Bible is clear that hiding our past is a grave mistake–
These desires give birth to sinful actions.
And when sin is allowed to grow,
it gives birth to death.
People who conceal their sins will not prosper,
but if they confess and turn from them,
they will receive mercy.
- Proverbs 28:13
Our Story–Plus the Story of Jesus
is the Key to Overcoming the Enemy
We have an accuser who accuses us day and night. His accusations and lies will ultimately kill us unless we tell our story and allow the story of Jesus to heal us.
And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb
and because of the word of their testimony.
To gain a full understanding of this verse it helps to know Lamb is prophecy code for Jesus. Blood is prophecy code for life (Leviticus 17:14). When we understand the life of Jesus by listening to His story, it helps us write a better story for our own lives. The formula for overcoming our enemy and finding our healing is the same. By combining our story with the story of Jesus, we experience a new story of hope and healing.