The many experiences we go through and store in the depths of our memory can be viewed as parables that teach us how to relate to God and live out our journey with Him on earth. If we look upon these experiences with faith and understand that God was present in them, we will see how He helped us through them and even brought blessings. If we invite the Lord into a recollection of past events, asking Him to help us see how He was present to us, He will help us discover the blessings He brought in both the good and bad moments.
In the Gospels, Jesus teaches many lessons through parables. In the story of the Good Samaritan, we are taught how to treat those around us, even those we may not generally like. There is even a more profound lesson on how Jesus loves us, for each of us can be seen as the man that is beaten, robbed, and left for dead, and Jesus can be seen as the loving Good Samaritan who heals us with the cross.
Once again, we find multiple overlapping lessons in the stories of the Prodigal Son, the Two Houses built on rock and sand, the Ten Virgins, and more. Jesus teaches these stories to give our faith more depth and meaning. Instead of simply listing out commands, which can be helpful at times, Jesus gives us stories to ponder and meditate on. The parables have many layers that allow for newness or fresh perspective with each new reading.
We could even say the same about the whole Bible. It could be said that the Bible itself is a true parable. It tells historical stories on the same earth we walk on that teach us lessons in faith. Similar to the parables of the Gospels, we can grow in our understanding of God and our Faith with each new reading of the stories. It’s almost like the stories of the Bible grow with us with each new reading. The more mature we become in our faith, the more we discover about the Bible, our Faith, and our relationship with the Lord.
Something similar can be found moving to a new town. At first, you might not know anything about it. Then, you begin to learn landmarks, street names, and locations of buildings. After a few years of living there, you know the stories behind many locations in the town, the history, and have even created your own stories from your experiences there. You then notice more and more details as you begin to better grasp the big picture of what the town is, looks like, and where everything is located.
This is how God teaches us through the parables and other stories of the Bible. The more we encounter them, the more we understand. Furthermore, we will never exhaust the riches and wisdom we can find in the parables and stories of the Bible. There is so much to discover and reflect upon. However, there is still more God uses to teach and interact with us to help us grow in our relationship with Him.
Your life is a living parable. By reflecting on the stories you have lived through, you can discover the love and wisdom and friendship of God. Furthermore, as you take a moment to think back upon the experiences of your life, you can consider them with the understanding that God was loving you throughout that experience. You can reflect upon the lessons about yourself and God you can discover from these experiences.
We do the same activity with the parables of the Gospels, through which Jesus teaches spiritual lessons with practical examples and real-life issues. Well, you may not have ever lost a sheep before, but the basic premises of the parables are universal enough that you can still relate to them in some way. Furthermore, we find incredible value in the idea that a story conveys a message that can instruct you and help you better your life.
Additionally, every story ever told can somehow be linked to the story of Christ. Whether it is by analogy or stated explicitly, the Bible and its message of Salvation can be reflected in every story told, including those from life experiences.
We see themes from the story of our salvation found in almost everything. Even my own story of being lost to addiction and selfishness can be seen in the parable of the prodigal son. The story that I share on the Zenith Podcast about God leading me to find my wife can be seen in the Book of Tobit. Even more stories of others from history can also be reflected in biblical stories.
My favorite examples are reading about underdogs like David and seeing their competition as Goliath. Any brave soul that has died for a good and noble cause can be seen as an image of Jesus, giving their life for the good of others. We can see this same gift of self that Jesus models in every good romantic relationship where the couple gives of themselves to their significant other.
Furthermore, with every sunrise, we see the Resurrection of Jesus. With every rainbow, we see the promises of God, particularly the one He made to Noah. With the very universe itself, God shows us His vastness, creativity, mystery, and mathematical Genius.
However, in each moment of our lives, we can discover how God loves us personally. Whether it was through getting a new job or losing one, starting a new romantic relationship or breaking up, moving to a new house, conflicts with loved ones, vacations in a new town, hiking, swimming, golf, or soccer, the experiences of life are numerous. We can come to know God and His great love through each of them.
In this way, in being able to learn and understand the Lord through these, we can see that our lives are parables. They are meant to be lived and experienced to have full, satisfying existences, but they can also be told as stories to lift up ourselves and others in glorifying our Creator.
Are there any stories from your life that you feel best exemplify this? Please tell us in the comments below or email them to email@example.com. And if you are looking for assistance in discovering more of how God teaches you and loves you through your life experiences, sign up for our mentorship program to let us lead you through this. Find out more at www.zenithministries.com/mentorship.