I was asked to give a testimony at church about the faithfulness of God during trials. My time limit was 5 minutes. Quite a task. Just to list my trials would’ve taken me that long. I wanted to say as much as possible. Not as much about my experiences, but more about what they have taught me, so I wrote it all down. I am not as comfortable with a microphone as I am with a pen. This way I could pick each word carefully in order to accurately express my heart. After speaking, I had many requests for copies of the testimony…so here it is for you all. Blessings, Michelle
The Faithfulness of God
Trials are a part of life. As a Christian, I have been assured that trials will make me stronger. I have been told that I am a strong woman because of all that I have been through. I beg to differ. The trials I have endured have exposed my weakness. When my husband was nearly killed, I was full of doubt that he would recover. When I battled cancer, I was full of fear that I would have to leave my children. The sense of abandonment was overwhelming when I lost our baby. Hardships reveal my weaknesses, not my strengths. They show the truth of what it means to be human and powerless to control my own life.
Usually the first question that comes during dark times is why? Why did this happen to me? Right on the heels of why, come the others. What did I do that brought this on? How can I get out of it? Who did this to me, was it God or the devil, or did I bring in on myself? My mind spins with all the questions that come during a trial. To put these surface level questions to rest, God taught me two things: 1. Why doesn’t matter.
2. His faithfulness doesn’t depend on mine.
I have found over the years, that there are more questions. When I cry out to the point that there are no words left, when my tears have soaked through the pillowcase, it is then that the deeper questions come. God are you there…are you still good? Were you ever? Are you able to help me? How long before my rescue? Can you protect me? Why didn’t you? Are you for me or have you turned your face away? I ask these in my head, because to say them out loud seems somehow sac-religious, like I am loosing my faith. But think for a minute, doesn’t this sound familiar…My God , my God why have you forsaken me?
It is the turning point in any trial, when you become real with God. You put it all out there and speak not from the head, but from the heart. A desperate heart that is wounded at its core that such a trial could befall it. A wounded heart that questions God and doesn’t understand how a God of love could allow such pain. A confused heart that thinks that somehow he missed something…surely he could not have intended such hurt, such loss, such hardship.
It is here in my weakness, when I am my most honest with God, where I find the secret place. I call it the secret place, because it is not easy to find. Yet in the deeper issues of life it is the most beautiful, intimate place with him. It is the place where I can worship him, though I sometimes feel I can’t trust him. It is the place where my doubts have a voice, and he knows them. It is the place of freedom and safety. I can speak openly and freely about all that is confusing and he listens. I can weep or wail…or just sit quietly and soak in his love.
Because he does love me. That is the secret truth of the secret place…he loves me with abandon. He understands my heart’s cry. He knows the questions and he still is passionately in love with me. His heart breaks for the pain that comes with the trial. The word says it is so important to him, that he catches every tear I cry, and keeps them in bottles and bowls beside his Father’s throne. This is the truth that must be heard amidst the thoughts clamoring to make sense in your head in the midst of a trial. To survive a trial in which your weaknesses are exposed, you must abandon yourself to him. Total trust. Complete surrender. Like Job we say, “though he slay me yet I will trust him.” You must not hold on to the questions, but lay them at his feet. Then, when you are in the secret place, your heart will sing. Peace will overwhelm you because you have given him all of your heart. It is here where he shares HIS strength with you to face the pain. I give him my weakness. I gain his strength. I am without faith. He is completely and utterly faithful. He will not leave me even when my world has been turned upside down. In the secret place he gives me confidence…not in my own faith…but in his faithfulness towards me. He is faithful to bring healing to my wounded heart. He is faithful to surround me with his care. He is faithful to make himself known, to commune with me, to envelope me with himself so that in the middle of the hurt that trials bring, I am in a cocoon of his love for me. He is faithful to finish what he starts. I would never wish to go through any of the trials I have faced again, but I wouldn’t trade them for the world, because I know now beyond the shadow of my doubt… He is faithful…even when I am not.