I love sharing the stories of what God has done for me and my family. I love talking about the times God showed up in miraculous ways. These stories form my testimony of God working on my behalf, albeit often more slowly or in ways that I would not have chosen. I love sharing those stories, but I admit that it is often difficult to share them freely. Too many times, I’m afraid that by sharing the stories of what God has done for me, I am sending the message “God loves me more than you. That is why he miraculously met my need while you continued to suffer.” I do not believe that in my heart for one second, but I fear that is the story others hear.
Take, for example, the story of my family’s Christmas miracle. While this story brings me so much joy, it happened just a month after someone I care about very deeply had a miscarriage. The question then becomes, why? Why does God sometimes show up in amazing ways and sometimes He lets us suffer? Why does one person get a new and better job just days after being laid off, while another who has worked just as hard waits a year or more for something that still is not as good as the job they had. Why does one family member die of cancer and another is told they are miraculously cancer-free? And why do we simultaneously quote Romans 8:28 to each of these people?
I wish I had a simple answer to this, I really do, but I do not think it is a simple question. I do know a few things, though. God loves the world so much, that He sent his only Son for our forgiveness and reconciliation. If God never did anything else for me, I can rest in His love knowing that. God is not a respecter of persons, meaning He does not have favorites and His spirit is available to all. Each one of us is uniquely His favorite.
I still think it is important to share our stories of what God has done and to celebrate those stories accordingly. However, I think we always need to be aware of the stories of others. We can never truly know what someone is going through, so it is important to recognize that people may not always respond as we expect them to, and that’s okay. We need to make sure our stories do not point back to our families, but to our family’s God. And in all things, we need to make sure the love of God is known.