Have you shared your story?
Have you spoken about your journey?
Have you shared your testimony?
Each of us have a story to tell… with many chapters… a story that God has guided us through… with perhaps dark beginnings that have led to later pages filled with light reflecting off them… maybe your chapters intensify with song, with beauty, with triumph, with God's love for you as you leaf through them, prisms of glorious color streaming from them as more of your story is written each day…
What a beautiful thing to be able to share those glorious pages with someone you know and care about… maybe someone to inspire… maybe someone to encourage and lift up… maybe someone you love. When we share our story not for our own glory but take a backseat and let the light of Jesus shine front and center… to show people only by God's teaching, His grace, we have grown... we have changed from walking in the dark fumbling, tripping over ourselves, searching for that much sought after light switch… and now have found the light and owe everything to Christ… to let people know that only because of Him we walk in the light due to seeing a light cast on our sin and realizing that we stand in dangerous chaos, in murky darkness… and that only by following Christ can we be saved.
When were driving down a dark, unfamiliar road the first thing we think of needing is… light. We desperately need light to find our way, to see ahead, to know where we are headed. But left without light that is impossible… left to our own devices to muddle our way along, we are on treacherous roads… we may skid out, we may hit a bump and go off the road completely… but with light we can see… and we know where we are headed… the gospel itself is light and light always gives…
No matter how good you are, how skilled at driving in the dark, you won't make it alone. But light… the word of God… Jesus Christ, our Savior who came to cast light on our sin, make us aware, convict us of wrong doings and then ask us to repent… for us to receive His forgiveness and give us much needed comfort…
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord.
“They are plans for good and not for disaster,
to give you a future and a hope.
God promises good things
for us and one includes comfort.
It was in the aftermath of losing my sister to a drunk driver that brought me face to face with the realization that I desperately not just needed God because I was hurting... because I was crying out in despair and pain… and NEEDED HIS COMFORT… but that for once in my life… for the very first time, I WANTED to have a RELATIONSHIP with Him.
It was small moments here and there… like bright spots of sunlight that peek through a wood fence on a sunny day, spots of light shining in and you're so incredibly happy and relieved to feel that sunshine on your skin… on your face. Because those beams of light represent something called hope.
Sometimes the people in our life are like light… like sparkly fireflies they happily offer help and are like bright spots of light through the darkness... to the eternal beacon of hope, healing, and comfort... our Savior. In the weeks, months following my sister's death I was enveloped in darkness; comparable to a black duvet, I was curled up in a cocoon of pain, of loss and hurt… crying out to God "Why??!!" and yet clinging to Him… because I realized just needing wasn't enough anymore… but wanting to be near Him.
A friend I've known forever suggested we go to Mardel, a Christian store and look around. I'd never been to Mardel and didn't really know what to expect. As she led the way through the books and gifts, we finally came upon the music section. As she selected a couple of cd's she was going to purchase I browsed the music… my curiosity was there but I had never listened to Christian music in my life. My life had been an ongoing playlist of AC/DC, Metallica, Gun's N' Roses, Pantera, Audioslave, Ozzy Osbourne, Rage Against The Machine, Sneaker Pimps, Kidd Rock, Limp Bizkit, Alice In Chains, NIN, Dr. Dre, Notorious BIG, 50 Cent and more… a playlist that was less than soothing but instead reflected the angry, the boxed in and the sinful flesh. Feeling completely out of my comfort zone… not certain what to choose I finally asked her for some recommendations. Narrowing it down to MercyMe I would soon find it was the perfect choice. Playing "My Heart Will Fly" until I nearly wore out the cd was soothing and before I knew it I was channel surfing and stumbled upon Joyce Meyer late one night… soon followed reading Heaven Is For Real by Todd Burpo… these tiny steps in the aftermath of losing my sister brought me along a path that was begun by my friend suggesting Mardel one day. Just one moment led to a series of moments. A few years later when I had her on the phone one afternoon I said:
"I just want to thank you." I told her… " For what?" she asked. "For taking me to Mardel that day. For suggesting it. Because of you, of that cd I bought... it led me to other things… to watching Joyce Meyer, to reading books to finally picking up the bible and having a relationship with God. "
There was shocked silence on the other end… and I seriously thought she'd fainted. Finally she spoke "I'm so glad, Jennifer. I've been praying for this for a long time… for years. I kept wanting this! I kept hoping… but you were so stubborn!" she laughed and I laughed too. Oh, yes, she was so, so, so right. And God knew this too. And I was so, so, so incredibly blessed by God. Thank God for her and all my friends.
Never, never, never give up that your friends will never know Jesus. You may step back from time to time in admitted frustration… you might question if your persistence (and loving patience) will really make a difference... but always pray, still reach out and know that there is still that chance, that hope that yes, the light will penetrate their black cocoon they are in… that it will cast into that dark inky hallway they are pacing like a caged animal, like a slave to their sins…. know that each and every one of us are capable of being a light to others too.
Ephesians 5:8 ESV
For at one time you were darkness,
but now you are light in the Lord.
Walk as children of light.
What a gift we are given by God… to be a light to others in this life and share the good news of the Gospel… to share our own story and let others know the only reason we made it through those trials, through those dark times and emerged from that cocoon bathed in glorious light...
Is because of His unconditional love for us…
And sometimes we find friends who love us like that too.
© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2014