A few years ago we developed a simple worksheet to help students think through how to share their story of God’s work in their life. Some students couldn’t identify with the traditional approach that was largely based on Paul’s life rather than someone like Timothy, so we adapted some material from Cru to start with.
This worksheet seeks to help us tell our stories of how God has “had His way with our souls,” as C.S. Lewis put it. I tried it out as a way to help the students see what it might look like. Below is my story. You can download the worksheet for your own use here: http://liftedandstruck.
Piles of Dirt
The thing I really appreciate about God is when He told me I am a pile of dirt. That’s when our relationship really began to change . . . but for the better.
Although I knew about Jesus’ death for me and had expressed faith in Him at a young age, I still struggled with doubts and insecurities about my relationship with Him all throughout my high school and college years. I felt very insecure and anxious about whether or not I had good enough faith or enough trust in Jesus.
I had always been told that our acceptance with God depended on faith, not on the good things we did or on our avoidance of bad things. But, I had set the standard pretty high in my own mind for what that faith ought to look and feel like, so I was always insecure as to whether or not I really knew Jesus and was accepted by Him.
While I was in college, I led a Bible study on salvation. I studied and prepared, but all the while I was struggling intensely with my insecurities and doubts. It felt very ironic and devastating to struggle so intently over the things I was teaching to others. One night I read a poem in the Bible where it says “God has compassion on us as a Father does his children for He knows that we are merely dust.”
God knows that He made us from dust, and that we are weak and have no life other that the life He breathes into us. That helped me to understand and feel God’s patience for me, and acceptance of me, even though I felt inadequate.
God’s Unending Patience
Several years later, a pastor shared with me a story about Jesus where, just before Jesus commissions his closest friends to be leaders for Him, it says that some believed but some still doubted! I was encouraged that Jesus showed patience with them and still entrusted his work to them.
Although I still struggled with insecurities, Jesus was putting in me, through these examples, the reminders I needed to help me not worry but to trust in His patient understanding, and, instead of focusing on myself, to focus on Jesus and His power and goodness.
God’s patience and compassion first calmed my heart and allowed me to begin to see His beauty and His wisdom and His love through the Scriptures and other people instead of feeling insecure through comparison.
Now, I remember and count on His patience and compassion when I don’t feel like I measure up, and remembering these examples from the verses earlier, I am able to see and reflect and enjoy His love and beauty and wisdom in the world, the story of the Bible, and the lives of other people.
So, that’s part of my story. Thanks for listening. Now, go try it for yourself and share it with people!
Kerby grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he learned to shoot ducks with his Dad, hit tennis balls with his friends, and beat video games with his brother Hunter. He moved on from there to complete a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University which he promptly put into use by studying Chinese and living in East Asia for two years…
Since 2005, Kerby has tried to hold on to his international experience by making friends and developing disciples among international college students in Oklahoma and now at the University of Texas at Austin. People often ask Kerby whether it is difficult for an Aggie to work at UT. He too frequently replies that “Jonah went to Nineveh and Daniel went to Babylon. At least I didn’t have to face any chains or hungry big fish.”