United Adoration recently partnered with Heartland Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana to host our first-ever writing workshop: “The Art of Writing God Stories.”  United Adoration staff member Kathryn Kircher gives some insights as to why our God stories are so important.

As a harried mom of five young children, one of the highlights of each month was the arrival of a magazine called Guideposts.  This publication was filled with true accounts of God’s attention and intervention in the lives of everyday people, and I voraciously devoured these stories.  It provided such a stabilizing reminder that God was at work in my life, too, even in the midst of that challenging season.  Month after month, I tried not to read the entire magazine as soon as it arrived in my mailbox, but I often ended up gobbling up the whole thing at one sitting.  Whether I read it all at once or managed to draw it out over a few days, I always came away hopeful and encouraged. 

Even though I’m decades past that demanding season, I’m still a big fan of God stories like the ones I read in Guideposts.  For me, recalling what God has done—in my own life, the lives of friends and loved ones, as well as in the lives of God’s people through the ages—has provided an anchor when I’m in the midst of turmoil.   These stories remind me of God’s character, His love, and His faithfulness.  They give me hope for my unanswered questions and patience for my unsolved problems.  

Israel’s King David knew the benefits of remembering our God stories.  In his 42nd Psalm, for example, we find David in a rough spot: wounded, taunted by enemies, and weeping day and night.  As part of his search for hope in the midst of sorrow, he exhorts his soul to remember the Lord’s steadfast love (verses 6-8) and joyful times of celebration (verse 4).  

A similar theme is evident in David’s lyrics from the 63rd Psalm—a song he wrote when he was exiled in the wilderness:

“My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.”

Remembering what God has done is essential for all of us in our walk with Him.  Especially during these times when so many of us are facing distress and uncertainty, the act of remembering fixes us securely to God’s steadfast love and unwavering faithfulness.  

In addition to anchoring us, remembering keeps us walking in obedience to the Lord.  Take, for example, the review of Israel’s history in Psalm 106.  There’s a cycle that’s repeated over and over again in their lives—and often in ours, too:

  • God acts mightily on behalf of His people.
  • We rejoice and celebrate.
  • We forget and slip back into defiance.

As we remember our God stories and tell them to one another, it helps us all keep walking with the Lord instead of descending into our own selfish ways.  Romans 12:2 says His will is “good, acceptable, and perfect.”  When we remember how God has already acted in our lives, it reminds us that walking in His will and His way is going to have a positive result.

So let’s keep telling our stories, creating our artwork, choreographing our dances, and writing our songs that remind us of who God is and what He has done.  What we create speaks a powerful message of hope and encouragement that can keep us anchored in the Lord no matter what is going on around us.  Our works of art declare:

He did it before, He can do it again. 

He did it for you, He can do it for me.

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An intimate community of eight poets, visual artists, creative writers and songwriters registered for the retreat. Our gratitude to be together shaped our perception of COVID restrictions as mechanisms for gathering, not hindrances to fellowship. One participant had never attended our church, but had been searching for a creative community. Seeing this retreat on our church website was an answer to prayer! 

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You are invited to join United Adoration on October 25 as we welcome Sergio Vilanueva to discuss this crucial relationship. We’ll hear from Sergio for the first hour and then have time for your questions.

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