Would you ever share your journals? Probably not. That’s what most people would say. I know because I was in that group until the day I committed to sharing portions of mine in Treasures. Until then, and sometimes even as I was writing, it seemed unreasonable to me that God was leading me to share my deepest thoughts, my angsts, and fears. But He did, and for a reason.
Shared light helps everyone. So, in the interest of full disclosure, know that I intend to encourage you to take a small step, if not a big leap, in sharing your “smiles and trials” with others. Not everyone will or should write a book, but stories of our first-hand experience of God at work at a time of need can spread light. When shared out of gratitude and concern, our stories become our testimony. And whether on paper or in a conversation, our testimonies produce double fruit: there is a bounty for us and for those with whom we share.
Sharing our experiences gives us a new view of our challenges, framed in the context of where we started and what we’ve overcome. That makes us want to tell somebody! When our stories uplift, motivate or take away the fears of others, they realize their purpose.
The power of sharing is neither new nor novel. The Bible is filled with stories of victory claimed out of test and turmoil. We find strength and power in this Good News of God at work in the lives of everyday people – fishermen, tax collectors, shepherd boys. And God’s power to save and strengthen has never stopped working. How many of us recall stories grandma or grandpa told about “how they got over”? These oft-repeated stories were not idle conversation; they were testimonies to the light of God shining out in their lives during challenging times.
We too are blessed to be both called and equipped to share. 2 Corinthians 1:4 tells us so.
Though being transparent is not always easy, pride should never stand in the way of our telling the stories of how God made a way for us. And we don’t need to be eloquent speakers or great writers. The truth resonates, and the Holy Spirit tells us what to say. We tell our stories out of gratitude, and people in trouble hear them and feel less alone. When we sincerely pass on the “help and comfort God has given us,” we tear down the walls of isolation and connect. So share, then be still, and trust God to make the connection.
“What a wonderful God we have—he is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy, and the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials. And why does he do this? So that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us.”