Testimony (noun):

“a formal written or spoken statement, especially one given in a court of law.”
“evidence or proof of something”
       The term testimony also has a religious connotation. “A public recounting of a religious conversion or experience.”
       It is that context that I have most often come into contact with testimonies.
      Religious testimonies vary greatly, and it is a great evidence that all are called (even if few respond).  I recent times I have been witness to three such public declarations.
       The first by a pastor, who had been involved in gang life, was a drug dealer, and who had faced brutal encounters with law enforcement. He only later through the prayers of those who nevertheless loved him, found Christ.
       The second, a pastor who had felt the call to ministry from his early teens, and spent his life on the path of Christian service.
       The third by a sister, who had a traumatic childhood, and yet found God in her late teens, but who still took years to find true solace in God’s promises.
       What do they have in common? They were personal encounters with God. God finds us where we are. No two of us have the same life experience. Each of us has our own story to tell, our own hurts and hurdles to overcome.
       The apostles Peter and Paul show us this. Peter a rough and ready fisherman.  A man who spoke his mind.  Yet, when he first encountered Jesus, runs from Him.  “Go away Lord, I am a sinful man.”
       Paul, raised at the feet of one of the leading rabbis of Judaism, a man full of commitment to religious tradition, and orthodoxy, still had to have an encounter.  This man, who believed so fervently in his vision of God’s expectations, had to become blind in order to see the truth.
       Our testimonies may seem trivial to us.  We may feel our stories are not important.  We may think others have so much more to share than we do.  But, have you ever considered that others may be in a similar life position to you?
       Most of us are “Joe or Joan Ordinaries,” we are not former drug dealers, alcoholics, or glowing examples of righteousness. We in our day to day struggles have met God in our own way.  Maybe that is what someone in a similar position needs to hear.
       God had bought you with a price. He found you in your journey, and led you onwards. Perhaps today is the day, YOUR story needs to be heard by those who need it.
        Are you a Peter? A Paul? Maybe neither, but you are you – a child of God. Go tell the world about the relationship you have with your Daddy. You might just acquire a few siblings because of the effort.

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