Saturday, 30 March 2013

A Little of My Testimony/Happy Easter

I grew up hearing the Easter story. It always made sense to me. Jesus, His life, His death, His rising from the grave and going back to heaven; my heart accepted it, and I never questioned, never doubted. It was just true. But what never made sense to me, and what had me confused for so many years, was why the people around me claiming to believe this story weren't different. They knew the stories and prayed the prayers, but this hope, this love, this amazing God who gave himself completely to and for them that they spoke of didn't seem to reach their own hearts. So I didn't get to know Him, either.

I turned to the world to see what she had to offer for the attention and love that my heart so desperately needed. That was high school, at the end of which I found myself in the deepest despair. Though I still knew Jesus was real and His story truth, I found that the religious tradition which claimed life left me empty, and the world only offered empty promises and pursuits. It turned on its promise of happiness and fulfillment and had instead given me intense anxiety and deep depression. I remember one night I was lying in my bed, curled into a ball and crying so hard I could barely breathe. In that darkness prayed, I cried out to the God I knew was there but hadn't really known. I remember saying, "God! Please! Get me out of this! Please, if you save me from this, I will do anything you want, I will go anywhere, do anything! I promise, please God!" (And you can be sure He held me to that promise!)

After that night, through a series of only God-orchestrated events, I finally experienced the Jesus that I believed the stories about. And he filled my heart completely full. In tears, I raised my hands and surrendered my life and my dreams and desires to Him. Since then, on my journey with Him, I have experienced miraculous healing (another story, another time), had the anxiety and depression washed away, and had joy and hope and an amazing future put in their place.

I had believed the nice stories about Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. But I didn't know until I experienced the fullness of the power of what Jesus did on that cross many years ago. I felt the shame, the dirt, the dissatisfaction and emptiness wash away as the revelation of His love and grace began to cover me And we are ALL invited to experience the God who is madly in love with His world and is in the business of redeeming it to Himself, one heart at a time. Does he have yours? Have you experienced this God for yourself, or merely heard the stories?


Isiah 53:3-11
 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth
  By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b] 
 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.
 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the Lord makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
After he has suffered,
    he will see the light of life[d] and be satisfied[e];

Mark 16:6
And he said to them, "Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him!
1 Peter 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead... 

John 3:16-17
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him
1 Corinthians 15:16-20
For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep

Happy Easter!

No comments:

Post a Comment