I remember as a teenager being asked to share my testimony and thinking that I wished my testimony were more “interesting.”
I grew up in a Christian home where my parents not only read the Bible, but believed and lived it daily. I came to know Christ at a very young age. I attended Christian schools from kindergarten all the way through college. People talk about their rebellious teenage years and college party days; mine were filled with mission trips, studying God's word, and preparing for a lifetime of serving Him.
I didn't realize what a blessing my testimony was. I didn't think my story was very “interesting.” Then again, I thought my story was about me.
You see, God didn't save me from a life of drugs and alcohol, or a broken home, or the circumstances that surrounded me. When God saved me, He saved me from what was rooted deep within – and that was sin. And it didn't matter what my story was before, because from the moment I was saved, God gave me a new story with a different ending. My story isn't about me. My LIFE isn't about me.
So what I want to share with you today is that this, the Bible, is my story. It tells everything about me, from who I was, to who I am, to where my eternity lies. It outlines the struggles I will face on earth and how I am to respond to them. This is what scripture says,
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because
you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” - James 1:2-3
As some of you know, this last year was one of the most difficult I have been through. We had a lot of change, some personal decisions that were made, and I spent the better part of the year working toward a goal that, in the end, didn't yield the results I expected. It was a hard year. But something happened in the midst of it all – God used the trials of this year to reveal some of the sin that had hold of my heart. And through the trials, He chiseled away at that sin until it no longer had hold of me. As a result, I look more like Him today than I did a year ago, and THAT I consider pure joy and worth every one of those trials!
Mine is a story of faithfulness, not because I have been faithful, but because He has taken my story and replaced it with one of HIS faithfulness. I have seen His faithfulness in my life, I have seen it this year, and I have seen it in the story He gave me (the Bible).
I used to wish my story were more “interesting.” But last night my grandmother passed away and as I reflected on her life, I praise God for the faithfulness He has provided my family for generations – Grandparents who loved and served Him, who taught their children to love and serve Him, who taught me to love and serve Him. I pray that I am faithful to teach my daughter to love and serve God as well. God, who is faithful to transform me from the inside out, to chisel away at the sin, revealing a heart that looks like His.