Testimony of Waiting

Posted by on Apr 20, 2012 in Faith | 3 comments

Testimony of Waiting

“The human experience commonly shared is suffering… If he suffers well, that might be the most important sermon he’s ever preached.”

The above was said about Matt Chandler, a pastor of a quickly growing church in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, shortly after he was diagnosed with incurable, terminal brain cancer at the age of 35.  I love the quote, and when I read it, it instantly resonated with me as truth.  Suffering is a universal human experience, yet we rarely talk about it while enduring it.  More often, we talk about our suffering after the fact, if and when victory has been achieved and we’re able to present it as a tidy package wrapped up pretty.  Don’t get me wrong, I love those stories of obstacles overcome and victory realized, they are encouraging and inspiring and worth telling.  The problem with only hearing those stories, I think, is that they give a sense of the journey through suffering being far easier than it actually is…there’s no way around this being the case, it’s impossible to adequately convey the anguish that was experienced in a lengthy battle when you’re summing it up in a few sentences after the fact.  Chandler’s brain cancer, surgery, and ongoing treatment provided a unique opportunity to witness a man walking through suffering holding God’s hand.

The past four years have brought significant struggle and difficulty to my life.  When the difficulty first started to show up in my life, I was very vocal about the goodness of God in the midst of my struggles, but as the years wore on I got a lot quieter.  It wasn’t because I felt that God was any less good to me, but because I thought my testimony seemed to be losing some momentum as my struggles continued.  Mine was not a story of quick resolution that I could package up with a beautiful bow and tell as a proper tale with a beginning, middle, and end, and a solid plot line running throughout that I absolutely understood.  Mine was a lot messier, a story with a beginning that made little sense to me, a middle that hurt like hell, and an ending yet to be determined.  But this morning when I got up to pray, I felt like God asked me to tell it.

How do I politely decline on the basis that I don’t think my testimony makes God look that good?  Believe me, I tried, but no go.  He started showing me the testimony of waiting I have that would only be possible by His grace…

The fact that I have no idea what the outcome of my circumstances will be but I continue to go forward in faith and hope..

That I don’t understand why this is happening, but I am fully convinced that if I understand nothing else, I know that GOD IS GOOD, and He is good TO ME…

That there are threats surrounding me but rather than fear I feel the determination to fight…

That with storms raging all around me, on the inside I feel full of joy and peace…

That my reality should really look so, so much worse than it actually does after these years of unrelenting trials.

That’s my testimony, and it would be impossible for me to say those things without the power and grace of God at work in my life.  He showed me that testimony makes Him look amazing, all powerful and able to do the impossible, to all the other people who are waiting, wondering why their stories aren’t wrapped up in beautiful little packages.  They’re not yet, but just wait.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.

1 Peter 5:10


 

3 Comments

  1. wow amazing article, it touches me from within!

    • I’m so glad, thank you for reading!

      • Beautiful, thanks for shinrag. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 1 Peter 1:22

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