Recently I had cause to be reminded how important it is to have a tribe of friends you can trust. I had a little health hiccup (I’m fine now) and my friends were, well, friends. Flowers, meals, cards, visits, the works.
Friends matter a lot in everyday life. For example, when you study the Bible, studying with friends (see what I did there?) can help multiply your understanding exponentially. Friends will pray for you, counsel you, tell you when you are being a knucklehead, hang out with you on a Friday night. I love my friends. I am so thankful for them.
Right now we are studying the gospel of Mark, which sparks my imagination about the friendship between Mark and Peter. Since the gospel of Mark is actually Peter’s account of the life of Jesus, it got me thinking about how much trust must have been between them. When I went in for my recent surgery I had a moment of consideration about my own spiritual legacy. I had a thirty second conversation with my husband about it just before they rolled me in for the cut. A little morbid, yes. Perhaps a little dramatic. But whatever, it crossed my mind.
Here’s the connection I am trying to make: Peter trusted Mark with his version of the story. That’s pretty incredible. Whom would you trust? If you had to give an account of the most important thing that had ever happened to you, if you knew that account would live on after you were gone, whom would you trust with that story??
I would like to make a bold suggestion. It has three facets. First, just like Peter, you do have a story that’s important to tell: yours. Second, if you are reading this blog, you might already know (like Peter did) that Jesus is the most important thing that ever happened to you. Third, also like Peter, you WILL be gone someday. But your story CAN live on, and it should.
Let me flesh this out.
The way that God designed His kingdom is that He uses people to reach people. Each one of us has our own story of Jesus in our lives. Your story might not be read or heard as much as Peter’s story, but it still matters. For a select few, it might matter eternally. Your story might be the one that wins them over. Or it might be the seed, the sunshine, or the water that grows faith for someone else to later harvest that soul into the kingdom. Either way, don’t hide it under a bushel (no), you gotta let it shine. Every single story of redemption, restoration, and resurrection in the name of Jesus Christ is worth telling. I would like to suggest that you tell as many people as you can.
Like Peter did.
And I would like to make you an offer. Tell ME your story. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org with a subject line ‘This is my Story.’ With your permission, and as long as it’s relatively coherent, I will publish it here on our website under this section (blogs), thereby increasing the reach of your own personal gospel story by at least, I don’t know, ten? Who knows, you might be just what one of our readers needs to hear. Pray about it.
We will publish this series (if anyone takes me up on it…) under the global title: This is my Story. Peter told his. Now let’s hear yours.
PS: When I was considering my own story before surgery, I realized that I would want this ministry and all the work I have done here to go on. Mostly for my daughters, because so much of my own personal history is woven into this work, but also because I know this is the work that God has called me to do. I am so thankful to get to do it. And like Peter, I have entrusted this to my friends. Hence the name, Study With Friends…you get it, right? Anyway, this ministry is a really big part of my story. But if you want to hear more, I promise to publish another blog soon in the series with yours.
“And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” 1 John 5:11
 Of course the gospels, like all books of the Bible, are divinely inspired by God. However, each of them has a human author. I do not at all minimize the divine revelation of this gospel by pointing out that Peter told his story to Mark, and Mark wrote it down.