Yesterday's Testimony

But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15

Testimony for the Christian is an odd thing. Many new believers fear speaking God's truth in their lives aloud to others at first. Other believers may be struggling under the silence of shame despite being freed by Christ's blood. Some speak from a place of embarrassment or dishonor rather than victory and freedom. Still others have no issue proclaiming to the world what Jesus' forgiveness has done for them.

And then most stop there.

Have you ever noticed how our testimonies tend to be in a vacuum? We tell stories of our past life, our new life through the cross; what changed and how God transformed us... and then we stop.

As if our testimony is over.

As if our testimony is a single-story, told statically, with a beginning, middle, and an end.

I think we've cut ourselves short. And certainly the work of our Redeemer as well.

What if I asked you what yesterday's testimony was?

What did God do in your life 24 hours ago? How did He work through your words and actions the day before? What did He refine and renew in you? What was being sanctified, what was being put to death? What new and exciting thing did He reveal about Himself yesterday?

Let me tell you my testimony from these last 4 days. Last Wednesday we got an unexpected surprise- my parents came to visit. In their 70s, my folks are full-time RVers so our family doesn't get to see them very much. Usually 1-2 times a year is about all we get, so it was a welcome visit. About 2 hours after they arrived, my daughter came to tell me her neck was hurting. Long story short, she has a history of infection from wounds she sustained in a car accident last year. Before I knew it, we were emergently driving the 4 hours up to St. Louis to Children's Hospital for surgery. I spent the whole of the next 3 days away from home- not only not seeing my mom and dad, but not with my 4 other kids or husband either.

But God was in this. As you can imagine, the logistics of having 5 kids is not easy thing to work out even in the best of circumstances. Having something so unplanned happen and trying to figure out life on super short notice is usually impossible. But God knew. He sent my parents to hold down the fort, watch the kids, keep a semblance of normalcy during a stressful time. He KNEW! What a thing! In the midst of illness and surgery, being gone and alone... He provided completely for us. It wasn't ideal. It wasn't perfect. There was a LOT that felt bad. And yet, it was so completely obvious that He was in control and would be, in a very tangible way... Jehovah Jirah.

It may not have been 'our' plans, but His were more complete. More planned. More prepared. Yes, God was surely in last weekend's testimony for me.

You have a testimony from yesterday too.

Dear ones, our testimony do not have an end. Just as God promises ongoing protection, renewal, refreshment... presence. So also should we be constantly proclaiming this continual work within us. His day-to-day work in our lives is no less part of our testimony as our conversion was. Each minute of God's guiding hand, each moment of GodStuff is part of our story.

We should be telling that too.

We should be telling it regularly.

Because our story... HIS story of our lives is unending, eternally being written and provided for. Therefore let us proclaim the whole of our testimony- yesterday's, this morning's, last hour's, and all our tomorrow's... until He takes us home.

Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples Psalm 105:1

Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble. Psalm 107:2

I will not die, but live, And tell of the works of the LORD. Psalm 118:17

What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life-- and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us-- what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.
1 John 1:1-4

For Those Who Ache

For Those Who Ache

I imagine you feel like damaged goods. Like what little was there to start with is now irrevocably tarnished. So much so that you're not worthy of love or any goodness in life. People have started treating you differently- like your pain and wounds are just too much... too ugly... to big for them to handle. Right?
The pain goes too deep to root out the cause, the treatment to heal too scary to consider seriously. The worry and anxiety of such a burden that you carry is overwhelming and yet you are unwilling to put it down or even share the load.

You run. You hide. You numb. Picking your poison to flee from the pain and ache of all that has gone wrong.

And by now you’re convinced none of it matters anymore. You’re beyond help. Beyond attention. Beyond redemption.

Dear one- you need to hear that you are loved, treasured, precious, and accepted by so so many people. Your life, your sins, your wounds, all are worthy of notice, love, and healing. You are worthy of redemption. You are worth it. Even minute of struggle, every moment of regret, every bad memory, every hurt whether visible or invisible- is known by your Father in heaven and He longs to heal you.

You need to stop running from the pain and listening to the lies. You need to know that you have plans and a purpose in this life and this season of tremendous hurting will be redeemed by your Savior. The crazy thing is that He has already done it... but you need to accept the gift.

No longer numb- take your pain and agony, worries and anxieties to God. He is trustworthy and a safe shelter.

I am reminded as I write of a lyric from Oh Holy Night.

'The thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.'

Sister, dear sister- hear me clearly- your night need not go on forever. Today is a new day, another morning to start anew. Take time now to make some choices- you need to put down the drugs, the drinks, the anger, whatever you're numbing the pain with- they're doing you no good and not stopping any pain in the end. You know this. They are the easy way out... until they're not. Rather take a step towards your Father and onto a road of supernatural and TOTAL healing. Healing that is complete and eternal. Healing that cannot be mimicked by anything or anyone this world will ever offer you.

“When you sit enthroned under the shadow of Shaddai, you are hidden in the strength of God Most High. He’s the hope that holds me and the Stronghold to shelter me, the only God for me, and my great confidence. He will rescue you from every hidden trap of the enemy, and he will protect you from false accusation and any deadly curse. His massive arms are wrapped around you, protecting you. You can run under his covering of majesty and hide. His arms of faithfulness are a shield keeping you from harm. You will never worry about an attack of demonic forces at night nor have to fear a spirit of darkness coming against you. Don’t fear a thing! Whether by night or by day, demonic danger will not trouble you, nor will the powers of evil launched against you. Even in a time of disaster, with thousands and thousands being killed, you will remain unscathed and unharmed. you will be a spectator as the wicked perish in judgment, for they will be paid back for what they have done! When we live our lives within the shadow of God Most High, our secret hiding place, we will always be shielded from harm. How then could evil prevail against us or disease infect us?
God sends angels with special orders to protect you wherever you go, defending you from all harm. If you walk into a trap, they’ll be there for you and keep you from stumbling. You’ll even walk unharmed among the fiercest powers of darkness, trampling every one of them beneath your feet! For here is what the Lord has spoken to me: “Because you have delighted in me as my great lover, I will greatly protect you. I will set you in a high place, safe and secure before my face. I will answer your cry for help every time you pray, and you will find and feel my presence even in your time of pressure and trouble. I will be your glorious hero and give you a feast. You will be satisfied with a full life and with all that I do for you. For you will enjoy the fullness of my salvation!””
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭91 TPT

Find those God has placed in your life who know these dark paths well and who don't fear the monsters in the shadows. There are multitudes who have fought these fights and won glorious victories in Christ. Our testimonies should be a map of the roads we’ve walked. We will walk alongside you. You have many ready to fight with you. You are worth it!