” We serve a very persistent God. I might give up, but He never does.”
Not long ago I had the opportunity to hear a compelling testimony that challenged me. Tim Johnson was diagnosed with cancer at the prime of his life. With two small children, and a grim diagnosis, he made a choice:” I was not going to let my thoughts lie to me and tell me things were hopeless. I knew God was working and I didn’t want to miss out on what he would do.”
Tim’s story is an honest biography of the battle fought inside the mind, whether fighting cancer or any other personal crises, often our greatest struggle is against depression. Our success or failure against negative thoughts is the determinant, dictating whether we are on the road to healing, or further hurt.
Often we hear the stories of miraculous healing, and testimonies of how the person never lost hope even when the odds were completely against them. That’s great. What a blessing to be able to withstand so constantly! We all strive for it. But for those of us that have ever struggled with keeping our thoughts positive, and have struggled with feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, resentment, bitterness, and even anger, then Tim’s story will help you.
By enduring unimaginable struggle, he has crossed the threshold to experience God more intimately than most of us have experienced. His perseverance is inspiring and challenging. “I was meant to be more than a conqueror. I was meant to be a liberator…”
In one poignant portion of Tim’s biography, he confesses that immediate healing would have robbed him of the opportunity to see God reveal Himself to him and through him. That is a statement of trust. What if Christ hadn’t suffered agony? What if his prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane had been answered? If it is your will, take this suffering from me. What if there had been no scars? Would the sacrifice, this act of salvation, had such a lasting and changing effect on us hundreds of years later?
Without fear, doubt or uncertainty, there would be no repentance, there would be no wonder of remission, there would be no rising. Our strength comes from the intimate knowledge of Christ’s identity and saving power. Our resulting relationship carries with it the privilege and responsibility to show our scars, God’s opportunity to reveal Himself through me to others.
It’s because he pulls us from the depths of our darkness and suffering, that we are so very grateful. The change is tangible. The change is undeniable. We can see again.