We live in a marvelous age. My laptop weighs about the same as a textbook yet contains a library of over a thousand books. And that’s just what is in local storage, consider the vastness of what can be accessed via the Internet. The billions of pages that are available with a quick Google search. Curious about something you see? Need to verify a disputed fact? Wondering about what something means or when it happened? All of those answers available with a few keystrokes or a spoken request. It boggles the imagination. Yet, there is a library of facts that not even Google can get its arms around.
Consider the few brief words John uses to close out his gospel. “This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and wrote these things, and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.” (John 21:24–25, NASB95) John has in mind the few brief years that Jesus walked the earth, all the stories, miracles, and healings that occurred. Several times the gospels briefly record that Jesus entered a town and healed their sick. But each one of those is a story of need, hope, and encounter. Consider all the lives Jesus has touched, changed, and healed in the past two thousand years. What if all of those stories were written down? Stories of how Jesus answered someone’s prayers and comforted them in times of trouble. All the stories of lost souls Jesus found, filling their days with purpose, meaning, and direction. All of the times when miracles happened in the name of Jesus. What if all of those stories were written down? It would melt the Internet, even Google has its limits.
What about all the stories of Jesus from your life. Have you ever considered the books that could be written about what Jesus has done and is doing for you? We typically spend more time focusing on what we need right now and seldom consider what has already been done. But what if we tried to recall and recount all of those times when walking with Jesus changed things. If you just listed them out how many pages could you fill? The times when the budget went further than expected. The times with peace flooded our hearts in the midst of choppy seas. The times when our spirit, our soul, our emotions, our thinking, or our bodies were healed in some way. All of the times when our sins were forgiven. The times when Holy Spirit nudged us in the right direction – either out of trouble or into a new doorway of opportunity. How many notebooks could you fill?
There are two reasons for the exercise and one warning. Human ego loves to gain satisfaction by comparing ourselves with others. The point is not to see how long your list is when compared with others or by measuring the grandness of the items listed. Your list is not a measure of Jesus’ love for you or of your faith. It should never be analyzed in that way. Considering all that Jesus has done for us opens the door to worship and praise Him all the more. Too often Jesus answers our prayers and we barely have time for a “thank you” before we are moving on to the next crisis. But praise follows every stroke of the pen or click of the keyboard as we recall Jesus’ hand in our life. Recounting these things also makes us comfortable with our own stories. How often have we wanted to say something to someone but felt empty? Knowing what Jesus did for you is the bridge needed to tell others what Jesus can do in their own lives.