A Christian’s heavenly journey with his feet on the ground. Treasures shared that are discovered along the way.
Please note that this blog has now moved to: "Senior Eagle walking with Father"

Monday, April 28, 2008

An Honest Testimony

Thirty five years ago I was bowled over and my life changed for ever. Partly through the living testimony of another, Jesus Christ met me at my point of need and I became a Christian. Looking back, I still marvel at the simplicity of that miraculous event. But that is a story in itself.

Over the years, my wife and I have struggled with the usual life issues, but can testify to God's provision, healing and amazing love in often remarkable ways. We can also say that despite our failings, it has been God who has kept us in marriage and brought us closer together. I have experienced my own dark valleys and wondered how I would get through, but discovered He was right there in the deprivation, ready to comfort and heal.

We've many stories of how God has worked in our lives, but what matters is what is happening today. Right now, because of chronic illnesses and disability we are finding things difficult and very trying. It's not that we are without hope, because we know that Jesus is really with us and promises to bring us through. But more than ever, we have to lean on Him for His enabling and each day there is something to delight.

This leads me to think about testimony - often interpreted as speaking of our conversion experience - which can be very powerful. However, I have heard old personal testimonies shared through gritted teeth and quivering lips. This didn't detract from the truth of what happened, but led me to wonder "What is it really like for that person now?" To speak of what is currently happening in our lives, as we try to reach out in faith, amidst all the doubts and difficulties is real and honest. It may also be more relevant to the listeners who identify with where we are.

I have occasionally heard, "God told us to give away all our belongings and live by faith!" By which they meant they were relying completely on God for their income. This may have been so, but if in reality it meant they were living off state benefits, then it should be said. Another was said to have given up a high-flying career and comfortable home to work in a particular ministry for God. The reality may have been that they took early retirement on a company pension and still had a second home in the country. Nothing wrong with that, but unless it is stated, people can be misled and given the wrong impression and even felt encouraged to copy. Some details are important.

Sharing what God is doing in our lives can be very powerful. It does not have to sound triumphant or victorious, but should be real and honest.

"And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son." 1 John 5:11 New International Version

2 comments :

  1. Mulled Vine said...

    I'm at one of those "life can be hard" stages, with my wife's illness and my reaction to it wreaking havoc on what has been so far a good marriage. I hate testimonies of the "I had a warm feeling wash over me" type - give me any day someone who has been through the mill and can tell me why they still love God.

    Thanks for your posts. They are like the morning dew for a dry and weary soul.

  2. wayfarerjon said...

    Thanks, I appreciate your comments. There is a precious closeness in real sharing with each other before God. We know beauty comes out of hardship and pain, but we have to do the 'going through!'