A scholar named Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch studied stories from all over the world. Based on his research, he concluded that there are seven types of stories. Though millions of stories have been penned over the centuries, they all fit into seven types… Cinderella, Rocky, Lord of the Rings, Jaws, you name it. Quiller-Couch titled these types man against nature, man against himself, man against man, man against God, and man against society.
It doesn’t take a scholar to identify the commonality these types share; it’s struggle. Find a story without struggle, and you’ll find a dusty book (or an empty movie theater). Deep down, we know that any story worth its salt that is true to the human experience has conflict in it.
All of us have a story, too. Every day, whether we know it or not, we put pen to paper and turn pages on the one life that is ours to live. And if your story is anything like mine, it’s not struggle-free. As much as I wish my story were one of never-ending bliss and unshakeable confidence in God, it feels much messier – filled with goodness and hope while simultaneously permeated by difficulty and doubt.
What makes the Church so rare and incredible is that the Church, when functioning in a healthy way, is a place where our stories intersect with one another and with the story that God is telling in the world. In the midst of our challenges, we find community and hope, and we experience the redemptive grace of God, who uses our stories to bring encouragement and hope to others in their struggles.
We want to make sure we hear and tell these stories at GFC because stories of life change honor God and encourage His people. If God has been at work in your life recently, would you be willing to share that with us? Go to gfcnow.com/stories, where you can quickly and easily tell what God has done.
I love the words of the chorus of the familiar hymn, Blessed Assurance, “This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior, all the day long.” May that spirit characterize us individually and as a community of faith… for God’s glory.