We all have a story to tell. Yesterday I had lunch with two friends and enjoyed hearing a bit of their stories.
We had met for the purpose of getting ready for a "Spill the Beans Cafe" at our church this coming Friday night. My two friends will be the in the spotlight as they "spill the beans" about a particular problem they've both encountered (anxiety and worry), but we're hoping to get all the other women at this women's event to get real with each other, too, and share a little of their own stories. So we met for lunch in order to make sure we were all on the same page.
But something much more special happened than just getting on the same page. By the time I walked away from Chili's and got in my car, I had a renewed spring in my step and a smile on my face. The three of us, not especially close friends but more like budding friendships, had been real with each other, talked about scriptures that encouraged us, shared from our personal experiences, and encouraged each other in the Lord. More than once, one of us said to the others, "This is how God has worked in my life..." And more than once, my faith in God was increased and my hope was anchored anew in His Word.
Granted, our conversation got to a pretty deep level fairly fast because we needed to cut to the chase. While we don't have especially intimate relationships up to this point, we spilled the beans with each other like we were spilling Scrabble tiles on a game table, ready to turn those tiles over and make sense of it all. But while we may have had an agenda that facilitated our quick intimacy, I was reminded that we all waste way too much time with inane small talk and chatter, not so much out of politeness, but more out of fear.
I'm not suggesting we spill all our beans with just every Tom, Dick or Harriet, but when we find someone that our spirits affirm as godly, wise, and loving, we might be safe to tell a little more, open up. At least, we could tell the most important stories -- the ones about what God has done for us.
So Moses went out to meet his father-in-law,
bowed down, and kissed him.
And they asked each other about their well-being,
and they went into the tent.
Now at this point, many of us would just exchange pleasantries. We'd keep it safe and talk about the weather, the father-in-law's trip, what we'll be serving for supper. But Moses had a story to tell.
And Moses told his father-in-law all
that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and
to the Egyptians for Israel's sake,
all the hardship that had come upon them on the way,
and how the Lord had delivered them.
Moses told Jethro (his father-in-law) about the ups and downs, the good and the bad. He told him about how his God had worked in the tough situations. And my bet is he even told him how it made him feel. He must have at least shared his story with some passion and enthusiasm because here's what happened next:
Then Jethro rejoiced for all the good
which the Lord had done for Israel,
whom He had delivered out of
the hand of the Egyptians.
And Jethro said,
"Blessed be the Lord,
who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians
and out of the hand of Pharaoh,
and who has delivered the people
from under the hand of the Egyptians.
Now I know that the Lord is greater than all the gods;
for in the very thing in which they have behaved proudly,
He was above them.
Did you see what happens when we tell someone about our low places, our desperate situations? And did you noticed what happened when Moses told Jethro about how God had brought them through those tough times? Not only did God get the glory He deserved, but Jethro decided that God is the one true god!
Moses shared his testimony and Jethro responded. We often think of a testimony as something you have to write down, organize, practice, lace with scriptures, and deliver with trembling precision. But sharing your testimony is really just spilling the beans about what God is doing in your life right now or in the past.
When was the last time you had a heart to heart with someone about what God has pulled you through? When was the last time you spilled the beans about your mistakes, your weaknesses, your valleys, your struggles and then told how God is working in your life?
One of my favorite scriptures is Psalm 66:16, which says:
Come and hear, all who fear God,
and I will tell what He has done for my soul.
When God is at work in our lives we do a disservice by not sharing that work with others. They need to know. It will encourage them, build their faith, strengthen their resolve, and anchor their hope.
If you live around here (and you're female!) I encourage you to come to our Spill the Beans Cafe this Friday night, February 4. We're going to "talk a latte" and see what brews. But mainly we're going to tell what God has done for our souls.
And no matter where you are, let me make my pitch for letting someone in enough to get a glimpse of what God is up to in your life. Sure, that may mean getting a little more real than you're used to, but that's ok. Find a safe place and spill those beans! Just make sure you give a shout out for God in the process. You never know what that might do for someone else who has the very same beans in her own cup!