My feet stand on level ground; in the great congregation I will praise the Lord. Psalm 26:12

When I was growing up our church, and many others, had Sunday evening church. Most of the time these services were slightly more informal that the morning worship service. This was the time we had special events like movies, or missionary speakers, or musical groups perform.

While the Sunday evening service has largely gone away, the one thing I remember, and miss the most, was ‘testimony time’. This was a time set aside nearly every week to share our stories of how God was influencing our lives or the lives of others through us. Some stories brought tears, others cheers. There were prayer requests and praise items. In a sense it was family time. It was as if we were just a bunch of brothers and sisters sitting around the campfire sharing memories and stories that made us what we were.

In Psalm 26 David is reminding God of his journey through life. He’s worked hard at living the way God wanted him too. He’s seen some victories, he’s stumbled at times. Like a wayfarer in the wilderness he’s climbed some mountains and walked through some valleys. He’s been through the wilderness, and walked in lush meadows. He’s known loneliness and he’s enjoyed the company of friends. But now? Now he stands on level ground. Walking on level ground is a metaphor for easy street. No more struggling. No more wandering in the dark. He’s home.

Not only has he seen victory in the journey, now he stands in the ‘great congregation’ to tell others of the mighty things God has done for him. He proclaims the glory of the Lord to all who will listen.

We need to hear each other’s stories. We need to tell the stories of our own struggles, our victories, our fears and our dreams. What better place to do that than in the company of family members, of brothers and sisters in Christ who share your passion for Jesus. Telling our stories encourages one another-(“If God can help them through that, maybe he can help me through my struggle”). Telling our stories strengthens us and helps others pray for us on a daily basis rather than in crisis mode. But most importantly, telling our stories offers up public praise to the one who is worthy of all praise.

This isn’t a treatise on resurrecting the Sunday evening church service, but it is a reminder that we need to place ourselves in situations with our spiritual family where we can share our stories. It might be a small group Bible Study. It might be lunch or a stop at the coffee shop. It may be a few minutes in the aisle of the grocery store.

Be willing to ask others for their stories (“So what’s God doing in your life lately?). Be willing to share the little things and the big things God is doing in your life. You’ll find it’s refreshing to you, encouraging to others and pleasing to your Heavenly Father who loves to hear the praise of his people.

PRAYER: Lord, I thank you today for all you have done for me. Give me courage and opportunity to share my story of your blessing with others and to seek out stories from others of what you have done in their lives. In all this we, as your children seek to glorify you. Amen.

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