Our Jesus-revealing stories

Written by on March 29, 2018

“Our story is meant to reveal the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus.” This week I have found myself returning over and again to these words. Here is their context. In a 2014 interview author and psychologist Dan Allender was asked, “Why is it critical for a person to understand his or her own story?” Allender responds,

Our story is meant to reveal the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus.

It is our suffering and struggle with sin and injustice that reveals what Jesus endures for our salvation. It is the rescue of God—the surprising, life-giving wonder and awe of his goodness—that proclaims the glory of his resurrection. And it is our use of the gifts that he has given us to reveal his glory that shouts the blessing of his ascension. If we refuse to suffer—and grieve the depths of our suffering—then we lose the power to reveal his death and resurrection. If we don’t name and bless the remarkable gifts he has given us, we cannot celebrate the stories he has written in us to reveal his story.[1]

Allender’s insights startle me with their profound theological and psychological depth, pointing to the personal significance of what God is up to. God’s Spirit is connecting truth and life, integrating the good news of Jesus Christ into all the nitty-gritty stuff of our particular lives. Our story is meant to reveal the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. And if we fail to honestly bring the deep truth and suffering of our lives to Jesus, we will fail to live out the gospel-revealing character of our life stories.

Many of us struggle at our deepest core with believing our lives really matter. The many voices of our culture have led us to believe, tragically, that we are less than what we really are. The gospel graciously awakens us with the truth that our lives matter immensely because we have been created and loved by God. As C. S. put it, “There are no ordinary people.”  Allender continues,

We are, in fact, a unique, once-on-the-earth life that reveals the story of Jesus in a fashion that no one else will ever do in the way we are written to reveal. If we fail to know the themes of our unique story, we are less likely to live that story well or play our role.

I pray that over this Easter weekend we might be reminded and awakened to Jesus’ grace and truth in our particular lives. May the story of Jesus continue to come true in us… 



[1] “Understanding Your Story – An Interview with Dan Allender” And Sons Magazine Issue 7, October 2014 (andsonsmagazine.com)



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