Psalm 136:1 – Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. (NIV)
Some time ago, I was blessed enough to attend a wonderful weekend retreat. The speakers were moving, the choir infectious, and, as for the women who attended — well, they were inspiring. The love of God was shining so brightly in them, I was tempted to wear my shades every time they entered a room! Their testimonies were some of the most moving testaments of faith that I've ever heard. When one listened to what some of them had been through, one was humbled. Some had that "knock-you-off-your-feet" kind of testimony. Others had a quiet, everyday testimony similar to what is expressed in an anonymous poem that came my way:
- Hidden Blessings
We always seem to find the time
To grumble and complain,
To think of all our troubles,
Our sorrows and our pain.
Yet if we would but stop and think,
I'm sure we would be glad
If we counted all the troubles
That we never had.
The loved ones we still have with us;
Our house that didn't burn;
Our automobile that wasn't wrecked;
The money we still earn.
When we're counting all our blessings
God gives us by His grace,
Let's think today of all the trials
We were not asked to face.
Sometimes the church's testimony is that we have, very simply, been blessed — not because we made it through dangers and trials, but because we didn't have to go through them at all. Sometimes the testimony is that we have wonderful parents, and a good education, with mentors and helpers, with victory after victory. Sometimes our story says that we've always known the Lord and didn't have to find Him after having been through the battle of our life and almost lost. Sometimes, we can witness that our best friend of youth is still our best friend and that we are happy right where we are.
Sometimes this is our testimony, and it is just as beautiful as the difficult struggle others may speak of, because it shows the glory and the grace of God: that He kept us safe for another night; that He gave us breath for another day; that when we raised our hands to praise Him our limbs co-operated and our voices chimed in. We can say that we were blessed to be part of the new day that started this morning, and after our eyes beheld the arrival of the Son we have had all day to bask in His presence.
Prayer: Father, what can we say except, "Thank You." You take such good care of us; You watch over us so carefully. You listen to our dreams and bring them into reality in colour so vibrant and rich that it is hard to believe we are not sleeping. Thank you for blessing us with Your presence, touching us with Your joy, holding us with Your peace, raising us with Your love. Thank You for the breath that runs through us, giving us power enough to say: Amen!