A Stream of Testimony
As the old year ends and the new begins, the editors at Real Intent have been thinking about testimony. We share these thoughts for your new year transitions.
My friend was near tears as she talked about her now-adopted son: “We’ve tried so many therapists and psychologists since we became his foster parents. Nothing seems to work; I don’t know if it will ever get better.”
I said, “Because of my faith in Christ, a belief in His power to heal, I think there must be some kind of solution for your son. Keep looking.”
Her reply changed my testimony: “But don’t you think that sometimes Christ doesn’t heal? Instead He is with us. His example shows me that I have to be there for my son, no matter how bad it gets.”
As humans we are very concerned with the present moment. Although we attempt to stretch to remember the past and look to the future, our senses are filled with this moment, now. Because of this human condition Christ’s very real promises of eventual resurrection and salvation do little to motivate me. It is the difference He makes in my life today, and the remembrance of many blessed yesterdays, that gives me hope for the future. Even a future as far away as eternity.
In Pennsylvania I lived by a stream, driving by it nearly every day. It was beautiful, with weeping willows bending low to dip their branches in the rushing water and an arched stone bridge that I’d drive over to take children to school. The stream became a constant presence in my life, as if it were a static, unchanging thing.
One day while my in-laws were visiting we picnicked by the stream. I watched the river flow by, every now and then a branch or leaf would float by and it made me realize that while the stream appeared to be unchanging and constant, it was new every moment. Every time I looked at the water moving by it was different than what was there 30 seconds ago. I thought of how long I had known the stream, and how long it existed before I knew it- all of that time fresh water coursed along its banks.
This stream is the symbol of my testimony of Christ, both in terms of my understanding and belief in Him, and a representation of His love and atoning sacrifice. Each day that Christ impacts my life it adds to my stream of testimony. Someone watching me may think of me like I did of the stream once I became accustomed to it: she’s always been that way, always at church on Sunday, always caring for her family, always ready with Pack meeting (even – always showered and dressed). In reality, every moment that goes by takes fresh effort, water for the stream, and I can do it because my relationship with Christ grows every day.
More importantly, the stream represents Christ’s infinite atoning sacrifice, His promise that no matter how many days or sins pass He is there for me. Not just there to exalt me in the end, but here with me now while I am a dirty, unhealed mess. He doesn’t save me in my sins, but from them, with a deep reservoir of mercy, love, and atonement.