I Will Testify
“The LORD is my Shepherd; I shall not want; He maketh me to lie does in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul, He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: though anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever” Psalm 23
I wonder what David was facing when he wrote this Psalm. Was he about to go into battle with Goliath? Was he running from Saul? Had he lost his son with Bathsheba? The Bible doesn’t tell us specifically what David was battling, but his testimony is my testimony. The Lord is my Shepherd and I know Him intimately because of the battles I have faced before as I walked (and sometimes crawled) beside the still waters. He restored my soul, turning my trials into triumph testimonies. I do not fear the unknown future because I know a known God.
Twenty-one days ago I was diagnosed with Glaucoma. I am 33 years old. Due to my youthful ageJ, the disease is more likely to cause greater long term damage because it has a longer time to advance. From my previous exam 6 months ago to now, I have already lost some peripheral vision. To know that without daily medication for the rest of my life, I will go blind, left me feeling…numb. That same week, I felt a pain in my body that I hadn’t felt in almost 2 years; this time I felt it in my right side and not my left. It was a pain that after months of intense physical therapy resulted in surgery on my left hip. To date, I have gone to physical therapy four times this month. It is amazing how quickly life can change and even more amazing how the body can adapt to pain…again. I have been here before.
Ironically, when all of this happened, part of me went inside my protective emotional shell. For the first time in my life, I was doing everything right, or as right as a sinner can do… I was seeking God and trusting Him in everything, spending time in prayer daily, and obeying Him. Yet, here I was facing another hurdle after just getting over the last one. I didn’t know what to do or what to feel. Then, I heard this song by an up and coming artist (Deon Kipping) called “Heal Again” and in that second, I felt. I felt hurt, anger, love, and acceptance. You see, I had been here before. This wasn’t the first time I visited this place, this wasn’t the first time I was confused, neither was it the first time that He has healed me, heard my cry, nor answered my prayers. I know everything the Lord can and will do. I know personally how He can heal. I know and no one has to tell me.
I may go blind one day. I may not. I may need hip surgery again. I may not. Yet, what I do know is that my God can do exceeding abundantly, above all I can think, do, or imagine. I know that these thorns in my flesh are just thorns. I know that I should not focus so much on this life, with all its trials and tribulations, when it is just my journey and not my destination. I know all of that, but you may not. So, I will testify before you and let you know, less you forget, or never knew yourself.
When I first was diagnosed, I had a conversation with my accountability partner and friend. My dilemma was that I received healing many times by writing about my trials and I felt God was calling me to write (and tell) my very personal story again. I refused because it was too fresh and not something I ever wanted to share. Yet today, I have. I am still private, but I believe that God sometimes uses my struggles to help others. My rights as a Christian are second place to someone else’s growth as a Christian (Romans 15:1-6). Literally, I was called to share my faith and for me, my faith is a direct product of my suffering. If David had never suffered, he would have never written those words that have blessed many throughout the ages. So, this is my testimony. What is yours?