Sunday, January 5, 2014
Read Mark 5:1-20
Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you… Mark 5:19
A Stranger's Testimony
New Year’s Eve, while waiting to check out at the grocer a round-faced medium built young man wearing a work uniform called my name – so I thought. When I replied he stopped. His face was unfamiliar but his eyes were weary.
“Happy New Year!” was the next words he spoke.
After a brief pause he continued, “If you knew what I have experienced it would be a Happy New Year for you too! Christmas day I was robbed at gun point. They took my wallet, several hundred dollars, driver’s license and debit card.” He eluded his expensive gold watch, jewelry, and new truck, were not taken.
Inquisitive as to where this conversation was heading, my first thought was “This man wants some money.” But I allowed him to speak. “I almost lost my life.” It was with those words he began to cry and I saw his pain.
Tragedies and hardships
God has his way of getting our attention. And when he does the experience can be life changing. For this Stranger it took a near fatal encounter. For our scripture lesson the possessed man wanted to be free from “legions” of demons inside. But the most compelling part of Jesus’ restoration was opposed to allowing this man to join the crusade, Jesus told him to go testify and tell what the Lord has done for him.
When experiencing hardships and tragedies in life we never phantom these moments of despair as opportunities to speak and encourage others. The stranger’s blessing was he lived another day to tell me, a stranger of how God blessed and saved his life.
Being a testimony to others
Think of your past experiences and take a moment to give a testimony to a friend or stranger. Let them know what God has done for you.
Reaching to shake this stranger’s hand I asked his name. “My name is Vince. I’m so grateful they did not take my life. You just don’t know how blessed I am.”
Before departing we prayed and I told Vince, “I do know how blessed you are and in Jesus name continue telling others about your experience and how God spared your life. Your testimony will be a blessing to someone. Keep praising his name that is what God wants you to do.”
Those disappointments in 2013 are messages of inspiration to friends and strangers alike. The lesson is: Praise his name in bad times and good times. “Despite your setbacks God still has your back!” Allow God to use you to be a testimony for others in 2014.
Thank you for testimonies. Thank you for life lessons. Help me to praise your name during the pain, suffering, and when it appears you are not there. For I know Lord in the storm you are still near by. Help me to be a witness to others. My life experiences can by a stepping stone to help others out of their pit of misery. Thank you for your Grace, Mercy and continuous blessings. Amen.