“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Matthew 5:6
“I can’t believe you use to be wild, you don’t seem like the type”…….That’s the typical statement I hear after sharing my testimony (my story of coming to faith). And it humbles me, it’s a sure-sign indicator that I must be doing something right these days! Whew!!!
Recently I’ve been mentally preparing to give my testimony to a group of high school teenage girls from my church.
When my sweet friend and also fellow youth leader asked if I’d share my story with these girls I wish I could say my first thought was, ‘this is the group that meets at a coffee shop for bible study every Saturday morning… there’s going to be an abundance of flavored creamer for a little bit of coffee…why, YES I’ll speak for you gals!’ BUT that’s far-fetched from my initial reaction…it was more so, ‘you want me to do what???, these girls are going to reject me, what do I include and what do I somewhat sugar-coat???, where do I start and how much needs to be said?’…
There’s a reason I volunteer to help with the jr. high youth group (only)—they’re fun, crazy, and most impressionable…but the high school group I’m not real familiar with and I’ve somewhat distanced myself, not because I don’t care for them but more so because when I was that age I was (regretfully) a mess of a girl, so perhaps I feel somewhat unable to connect with a majority of them…
Lately, however, God has really laid on my heart that just because some of these girls may not be able to relate over the same physical struggles that I experienced as a teen, chances are they’re dealing with “something” and God can use my story to resonate with that girl and bring about hope and healing that ultimately points to Him. Also outside the doors to my church I have absolutely no idea what challenges these young ladies may be facing, therefore I can’t prejudge what God already has planned and I mustn’t underestimate the power of Him and how he may choose to work through me.
Honestly I’m not sure why I get so bent out of shape with the thought of sharing my story. I should be use to it by now, just this past year alone I’ve probably been asked over a dozen times to share my testimony with people-of all ages, some young and some seasoned (somehow, however, I’ve managed to escape the teenage bracket). And each time I have the same thought, yes I’ll do it because it’s an opportunity to show what God has and is doing in my life, but my conscience always allows Satan to fill me with lies…’you’ll stumble finding the right words, you’ll say more than you should, your audience won’t follow what you’re saying…’
As I pondered what I’d include in my little pep talk with these high school gals, the Holy Spirit whispered a gentle reminder from Hebrews 4:16, ‘let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.’
Goodness, am I ever thankful the Holy Spirit is stronger, more powerful, and more dominant than the lies Satan uses to infuse my conscience.
I don’t know exactly how my “table conference” is going to go with this group of girls, but if I come empty and lowly I stand at the risk of failed opportunity to share God’s mercy and grace, and if I come intimidated and tense I risk misrepresenting Jesus’ concern for others.
Without a doubt, I need to look at this as a time to fellowship with one another, a time to show how God can use a once broken soul and restore it—there may even be tears shed—tears from laughter, tears of hope—perhaps God will even break through the walls of a hardened heart, softening it to fully accept Him for the first time.
The truth is everyone has a story; those who have chosen to give their life to Christ have the possibility to change lives for His glory and for His purpose, all by sharing how Jesus has worked through them.
I’ve heard people resentfully say, “I don’t have a testimony” or “my testimony isn’t at all interesting, I wish it was more exciting.”
I have two thoughts on that:
A) Don’t go out and mess your life up and then come back to Jesus just so you “have” an adventurous testimony.
B) It doesn’t matter your age or circumstances, if you’ve accepted Jesus into your heart (as God’s son), sought forgiveness of your sins, and are pointing others towards God as you follow Him…YOU have a testimony and you should be excited to share that with others.
So as the time arrives for me to pour my heart and story out amongst this winsome group, I’m going to approach the table boldly with the assurance that the Holy Spirit will lead me, trusting His ways and giving Him the glory through my words.
…And you can bet there’s going to be a hot cup of flavored creamer, I mean coffee!!, cupped in the palm of my hands all while doing so…
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life, he who comes to me will not hunger, and he who believes in me will never thirst.” John 6:35
I’ve commanded you, haven’t I? “Be strong and courageous. Don’t be fearful or discouraged, because the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, And the hungry soul He has filled with what is good. Psalm 107:9