Such power exists in testimonies.
The power to inspire.
The power to connect others with God.
For some “testimony” seems to have the power to leave them feeling inadequate or panicked. I have seen the look of fear or the blank stare that comes when someone asks, “Who would like to share their testimony?”
I have heard people express that their testimony is boring or that it isn’t very exciting and they’d have no idea what to share.
So Tim Hawkin’s joke isn’t that far from reality. But I wish it wasn’t. Testimony is our chance to share our story and God’s story… of God’s love, redemption and grace worked for good in our lives. Testimony is good for the listener and good for the one sharing.
Yet for many it is so hard to give their testimony.
Here at camp we began staff training last week and at one point I was talking about evangelism and how each person has a chance to evangelize because this is where they share the story of God’s work in their lives. A few days later, at staff campfire, I felt called to share about the power of testimony. God led me to the story of Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well. You can read it here.
Jesus, tired from his journey, stops around midday at a well. Here in the heat of the day, when MOST others avoided being in this exact spot… a God ordained encounter occurs. This woman, a SAMARITAN woman approaches the well (Jews and Samaritans were not on good terms and that is putting it lightly)…. Men and women did not engage in causal conversation of this manner… and there was likely a REASON the woman came to the well to draw water when almost no one else would be there.
God is there to meet us where no one else will!
This woman has a scandalous past and present. She has a reputation and because of her disgrace she comes to the well at a time when she WON’T have to encounter other people… maybe she comes to the well in the heat of the day because she isn’t welcome to come when respectable folks would be present. She comes to the well at a time when her shame would bring her the least ridicule.
Jesus turns her shame into her testimony.
After talking to Jesus she knows he is something special… she wonders if he could be the Messiah… and what she does next show the POWER of Christ at work in her.
She leaves her jar
Goes back into town
And tells the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ ?”
DO YOU REALIZE WHAT SHE JUST DID? Because Jesus, see the things he knew, it wasn’t just what she ate for dinner… no… he knew her shame. He knew the reason she was avoiding everyone. He knew the disgrace she faced. THAT is what he told her…
She went to town and what previously had been her shame, because of her encounter with Christ now becomes her testimony. And her testimony brings people to Christ.
You know what? If God could use this woman at the well… filled with shame, likely subject to immense scorn… he can use whatever is in YOUR story for HIS glory! No matter how “boring” or “terrible” your story… because of WHO GOD IS and WHAT HE HAS DONE
YOUR STORY IS WORTH SHARING!
So next time the opportunity arises… share your testimony… not because of who you are/were but because of WHO GOD IS and know your story is powerful!