Saturday, March 24, 2012

From Test To Testimony

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose."  Romans 8:28 (KJV)

The other night when I returned home, I had a voice mail from someone I have known for years, but hadn't heard from in quite a while.  I was surprised to hear from her.  She was calling to ask for prayer.  I called her back, and the longer we talked, the more she opened up about several things in her life that are seemingly falling apart...all at once.

I listened, and my heart went out to her.

It touched me deep inside when she said,
"I knew if anyone would understand, you would."

After we talked for a while, and she had cried and poured out her heart, I gently asked,
"Do you want to have prayer together?"

She said, "Yes."

So, right there...using the phone as a bridge between her and me....I dropped to my knees, and I prayed.  Earnestly.  When we finished praying, her problems were still there, she was still heavy of heart, but it seemed that somehow her burden was a little bit lighter.

I promised to continue to pray for her, and I do, each time she comes to my mind.

She wanted to talk to me and ask me to pray, because she knew that I know firsthand how this feels.
Had I never passed through the same dark places, I would not...could not....have understood what she is passing through right now.  I wouldn't have been able to relate to her at all.  But, hearing her talk, sensing her pain, feeling her heart break....was all too familiar to me.

Are you passing through deep trials?  Does it seem the night will never end?  Is your heart broken?

Do you know that God wants to turn your test into a testimony?

He is working all things together for your good.  And did you ever think, He may be working all things together for someone else's good, too?

The things you are going through today will enable you and empower you to help someone else tomorrow.

Did you ever notice how God brings people into your life who are going through some of the exact same trials you have gone through in the past?  I am amazed each time this happens.  

When we go through pain and suffering and heartbreak, we can later better relate to someone who is in the same circumstances.

When someone needs prayer, when they call for counsel, when they just need a sympathetic ear to listen...which response holds more weight and brings the most comfort to the person seeking help?  

Response #1:  "My heart goes out to you.  I'm sorry, but I have never gone through anything like what you are going through.  I really don't know how you feel.  I can only imagine."   


Response #2:  "I KNOW how you feel, I've BEEN there.  I was once in your shoes, and I'm still standing.  I made it.  So will you."

What test are you enduring today?

God wants to bring you through to victory and turn the test into a testimony.

Take it from someone who's been there...."this too shall pass".
"...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."  Psalm 30:5 (KJV)

God has taken some of the deepest trials and darkest places of my life and turned those very tests into the ongoing story of my life's testimony.

Moments that were so hard to live through, so hard to endure, so hard to understand, are now a part of my portfolio of battles won.  To God be all the glory.

I am still standing.

I still believe.

I can tell you that there is victory ahead for you, my friend.

Don't focus on the darkness.

Look for the light.

Think about the hurting you will ease one day, simply by turning to another and saying, "I understand".

There is a reason you are in the situation you are in.  And, no I am not talking about wrong choices or unwise decisions you may have made.  It helps no one to bring up the past or tell them all the reasons they are in their current situation.  What good does that do?  What I do mean is this....don't focus on how or why you got to where you are.

Don't beat yourself up one more minute.

  Perhaps it was someone else's choices, decisions, or mistakes that landed you in a state of despair.
Maybe you had nothing to do with causing any of the pain you are experiencing.

That can be the hardest part...not knowing WHY God is allowing this.

Whatever the reasons, you are where you are.  And God wants to bring good out of this.
God sees the big picture.
He sees others who will need you to help see them through.

It is not all about you.

There is a bigger picture....a bigger plan.

Looking back, I can see why certain things have developed and fallen into place the way they have in my life.
Though I couldn't see it when the pain was so severe that I thought I would crumble, I can see it now.
God was molding me and allowing me to feel certain emotions, certain levels of brokenness, certain depths of I can understand and better empathize with others who are passing through the fire.

So, I can say, "I know how you feel."

Sometimes, those are the five best words of all. 

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