A Stream of Testimony

[ 6 ] Comments

by jendoop

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.

mother-son-nap-468984-printMy 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.

River
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.

winter lake

photos by: pennsylvaniaflyfishing.blogspot.comCreative Commons License Andrew E. Larsen via Compfight

About jendoop

Jen writes, reads, paints, walks, prays, eats and sleeps. Paul is her co-conspirator in teaching these skills to 4 children.

6 Responses to A Stream of Testimony

  1. “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.”

    A friend of mine said that often God watches the sparrow fall. He then repeated it in terms of the Gospel of Matthew and that often all God is able to do for us within the bounds of the wall is be mindful of us, just as his being mindful of sparrows doesn’t stop them from falling.

    • Jendoop says:

      Stephen,
      I’m interested to hear more about, ” in terms of the Gospel of Matthew and that often all God is able to do for us within the bounds of the wall.” Can you explain how this relates to the gospel of Matthew and what you mean by ‘within the bounds of the wall’?

      I like the sensitivity of the phrasing, “God watches the sparrow fall.” It’s a beautiful recognition of how aware God is of us, even in small things. While at the same time aware of the bigger plan and how allowing the fall brings about great things.

  2. Bonnie says:

    I have a son, a senior in high school, who is a full 3 credits short for graduation. We met together in the summer, after talking about this regularly since 7th grade, to determine a plan. First he had to decide whether he even wanted to graduate, and then from where. Get his GED? Go to the alternative high school for kids with behavior issues? I spent 5 years preaching what I thought he ought to do and finally decided that it didn’t matter how much I pulled, pushed, or preached, he was going to have to decide. I never thought I’d face that with one of my children, considering my personal and our home focus on learning. But school as an institution was his biggest battle, and it turned out to be his crucible.

    We’ve worked together for the last 6 months, and it has been the hardest six months of his school career, for him and for me. I’ve learned some important lessons, and so has he. We talked tonight about the fact that it doesn’t matter what his GPA is, what courses he has, or even what he has studied, because the demon he is beating (and he is going to graduate – barely) is a crucial demon for him to overcome. If he does that, it will be the greatest triumph of his life so far.

    God didn’t take away his demon. God made it possible for him to grow mighty overcoming. Sometimes we get to suck it up, do the hard work, and help someone fight the demon God won’t remove. We’ll thank him for it later. I get what you and your friend are saying here, and I agree 100%.

    • Jendoop says:

      Bonnie, I understand your situation so well, except I’m anxiously waiting to see my daughter grow mighty overcoming. For now she’s pushing me away saying, “I’ve got this!” while she falls out of the sky (to borrow Stephen’s metaphor).

      • Bonnie says:

        Yep. Totally been there too. We get to fall with them sometimes, explaining all the way down how to open their wings and hoping they’ll do it in time.

  3. templegoer says:

    So, along with God we watch sparrows fall. I’m praying for the strength every day to keep watching that.

    And yet, I insist that I and my children are held in the mind of God.

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