J and I were talking this last Friday about testimonies while we made homemade mozzarella. Who’s J, you ask? You’ll meet her in the next week or two since she’s being added to the blog roll. Every post so far has been mine, so I guess you could say that now I actually have a blogroll. You’ll like her- she’s smart, and you can ask her anything. Definitely one of my besties. But back to my train of thought…
Ahh, testimonies. I’ve always wanted to, but I’ve never been asked to stand up in front of a group of my peers, and communicate my ‘testimony’. This is usually Christian-ese for all-the-bad-stuff-you-did-before Jesus called you to Himself. And I’ve sat through some doozies of these stories in my 35 year lifespan. Sex, drugs, and rock n roll kind of testimonies. One’s that make you think, as a teenager, wow, God has a ton of grace, but as you mature as a believer, you start to realize your own depravity in such a way that no testimony shocks you anymore. I began to realize that same boatload of grace that the prostitute, or drug dealer needed, was the same grace that set me free.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a ton of grace, or a trace of it, either way it’s an absolute need for each one of us.
Why had no one asked me to share?
Cuz it’s boring, that’s why!
Raised in a nuclear Christian family, with one brother, and parents who are still married today, I learned early on how real God is, how to pray, and the importance of obedience. I learned to trust Him. I sought out likeminded friends who believed the same, and tried helping show the truth to those who were unsure. A self proclaimed ‘good girl, I finally learned that no matter how ‘good’ you are, we all have to learn repentance. We are all sinners, and we were all in need of great grace. The Bible says there’s none righteous, no, not one.
Growing older, I decided very early, and purposed in my heart when I was 9, to remain pure until marriage, waiting to lose my virginity on my wedding night.
I prayed for a godly marriage, for a man to love God more than he loved himself, and stand up for the same principles that Jesus stood for. I was graciously given a man like that. My deepest desires were to see God use me, and whatever gifts God had given me, to be used for His glory. I’ve never smoked, I’ve never tried drugs, I’ve never been drunk, and yes, I did stay pure, by choice, and I did have the most amazing wedding night, exceeding all my expectations.
Regardless, my life story wasn’t bestseller material.
I have no exciting tale of travesty and woe. There was no deep intrigue and suspenseful climax. There wouldn’t have been any scandal to shock, or maintain interest. I was protected, always protected, from any and all harm, supernaturally held back from danger.
Even though I’m so grateful, I imagine how neat it would be to be saved from the wildest of lifestyles, God using my words to help others to see. He still performs miracles. See? He still does the impossible.
One day someone very important to me said something I will never forget. They told me that I was looking at my past all wrong, and that I did have an amazing testimony, but it just didn’t have all the dark memories, and negative consequences. The traces of grace that are evidenced in my life would confuse even the most faithful atheist, and the testimony I have, is that God is a good Father. Your story may have Him stepping in to rescue, and mine is that He’s always been there faithfully. He is a God who sees, and a God of protection. My story may not ever make an Emmy, but it’s stock full of mercy and grace.
The thing about testimonies is this. Whatever you did, whatever transgressions you transgressed before you came to know Christ, well that’s your history…what you do now that you know Him, now that you love Him, that’s your testimony. So God saved you from some dark places…yes, that’s who He is. So He turned your life around 180 degrees, placed His banner of love over your shoulders, and poured His bucket of grace over you…yes, He does that!
Jesus also protects, defends, honors integrity and wise choices. He desires to bless your heart, to show His goodness, to be your deliverer. He desires to show Himself to you.
If you need some traces of grace in your life today, and you may even need rescuing, call out to a faithful God. His name is Jesus. He sees you, and loves you passionately.
What other King leaves his throne?
What other King leaves His glory to die?
Need a trace of His grace today, or a ton?