By Ricky Chelette, Executive Director
We live in an age of story. Everyone wants to tell a story or hear one. Stories have become the new medium by which “truth” is transmitted. Not all stories are true, of course, but those that are truly move us and often have the power to convince us.
At our annual LHM Young Adult Retreat, I was most impacted by the stories of two very different young adults: they were of different races and sexes, they had different socio-economic backgrounds, and they had very different outlooks on life. One grew up in a two-parent home, the other in a single-parent home. One completely embraced homosexuality and entered into that life with abandon, the other struggled internally, but never fully embraced a gay identity or a relationship. Their stories unfolded in very different ways and took each of them down very different paths.
Both individuals were searching for something they didn’t have and thought they could find in the arms of others. Both had legitimate needs that weren’t being met. Both tried to meet those needs in ways that fell far outside God’s design for humanity. Both tried desperately to make their own way, only to discover that their efforts were futile, destructive, and life-altering.
Despite their differences, they both came to a singular conclusion: Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. As they shared their stories of tragedy, triumph, despair, and ultimate hope, we were all moved to tears. The power of the Gospel to rescue and redeem was so evident it was palpable.
For each of them, Jesus isn’t a concept or an idea; He is a person who seeks to redeem His people and meet the deepest longings of our hearts.
As I listened, I longed for every person to hear what I was hearing and to see what I was seeing. Over the years, I had seen both of these people transform before my eyes. I had seen Jesus at work in them to do what the world said was impossible. They were living out their lives as the man and the woman God had created them to be. They had faced the demons of their past and the consequences of their sins, and they were not only living but thriving in Christ!
In a day when change seems possible only if you want to go against the teachings of Jesus and orthodox Christianity, I witnessed the work of Christ transforming and conforming lives to the image of God’s plan for humanity lived out right before my eyes.
It really should not be such a surprise. In Revelation 12:10-12 it says, “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.’”
The last days are nearer now than ever in our history. Those of us who have stories of God’s redemption must speak up. Those who have yet to experience His transformation and love need to know that Jesus is real, true, life-giving, and life-changing. God is at work among His people to bring redemption and transformation to all who will trust and believe.
Do you have a story to tell? If you don’t, I hope you will seek the Lord and know that He is the only way, the only truth, and the only path to life everlasting. If you have experienced the goodness of God, I pray you will share it with others so they might find hope, Christ, and the transforming power of the Gospel. “The blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony” will overcome the darkness of our fallen world. Life. Lived. Shared. Redeemed. There is power in our God-stories!