Saturday, December 20, 2008

Go Light Your World

John 8:12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

Another beautiful Thankful Thursday post and Then Sings My Soul post! Praise the Lord! His goodness and mercy is everlasting.

Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden."

Today, I thought I would share a bit of my testimony with you. I am so thankful that the Light of this world came to earth over 2000 years ago in the form of a tiny baby to live out His Light before all mankind; then to freely give His Life for me so I can have eternal Life and continue to share His Light with others. For several years I would close our church’s candle light service singing Go Light Your World. It is a powerful reminder that Christ is the Light of the world, and those of us who know Him as our Savior have that same Light inside us. We are not to hide His Light under a bushel; we are to shine forth His Light so others may know Him as well. This Christmas, and every day let us shine forth His Light and be a witness for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.



Crouched inside the darkness of her closet, a little girl silently cried, “Oh, why does daddy hurt me so, someone please answer me, all I want is my daddy’s love.”

Through the years this scene became all too familiar. Then one day, at the age of twelve, someone answered those silent cries, “Oh, child come and meet my Daddy, for His love is endless and His protection secure.”

Anxiously she received the Daddy who would love her unconditionally, and He wiped her tears with His gentle hands, and became her Protector, Savior, her Abba Daddy.

Through four decades she would hear, “You’re a worthless child; a sick dog you are.” Over and over, she would silently cry, “Oh, why does daddy hurt me so, someone please answer me, all I want is my daddy’s love.”

With compassion in His voice, Abba Daddy gently spoke, “Oh, My Child, come unto Me, for you are weary and are heavy burdened. I will give you rest my child. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for you shall find rest for your hurting soul.”

Then one day, her daddy gravely ill came to her and said, “Oh youngest child of mine so dear, you have honored me throughout my years.” And with his final conscious breath, he spoke the words she had longed to hear, “I love you too, my dearest child.”

With eyes filled with tears, and her heart ached in sorrow, she silently cried, “Oh why did daddy wait so long, to tell me what I had longed to hear, someone please, answer me, all I ever wanted was my daddy’s love.”

His arms open wide, her Abba Daddy wiped her tears with His hands of Love and tenderly said, “Oh, child of mine, don’t you see, My peace I leave you, My peace I give; not as this world does give, give I, Let not your precious heart be troubled, and neither let it be afraid.”

Then suddenly she realized what her Abba Daddy meant, with a smile on her face and peace in her heart, she boldly proclaimed, “Oh Abba Daddy, Lord of my life, I thank you and praise You for Your Unfailing Love. For Your Grace is truly sufficient for me.”

You have probably concluded…, that child was me. I am so thankful that someone took the time to show me from God’s Word that I am loved in spite of all my sins. In John 3:16, Jesus says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” And as Romans 10:9 says, “For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” I prayed and asked the Lord to be my Savior, my Abba Daddy.

Even though I have trusted Jesus as my Savior, and have been married to a wonderful godly man for 34 years and have a beautiful daughter and a precious grandson, and in the ministry for over 30 years in various positions, I didn’t truly know God as my Abba Daddy for a large portion of those years. I had brought into my marriage and my family, baggage that I thought I had to carry by myself forever. I sought security and purpose in worldly sources. I was compelled to drive myself to achieve, doing virtually anything to make people happy. I often avoided situations and people where the risk of failure and rejection was high. At the age of 33, I said, ‘ I can’t do this anymore!’ I swallowed my pride and humbled myself, and went to a godly Christian counselor who helped me see that I needed to get off of this hopeless treadmill, and learn to apply the Biblical truths that can motivate me to live for Christ rather than for the approval of others. Christ’s death paid the penalty for my sins, and His resurrection gave me new life, new goals, and new hope! He has given me complete security and purpose. None of these are based on my abilities, but on His grace and the power of the Holy Spirit. Christ does want me to be zealous and ambitious, but not about my success or status as a pastor’s wife. I came to understand His forgiveness and acceptance, and to pursue the right things – Christ and His Will. I found that I could be free to delight in His Love.

My earthly father was not the only one in my life who told me I was a hopeless case, a guidance counselor in high school told me too! I grew up with some learning disabilities. But, I’m here to tell you, that through Christ I can do all things, and so can you! Besides a wife, mother, and grandmother, I have been a kindergarten teacher, bookkeeper, and at the age 38, after going back school, I received my BA in Biblical Counseling, and I disciple and teach women in our church and a few years ago started a Wellness Ministry, and with God’s direction, I try to give positive godly counsel to others. For over 20 years I have also struggled with several chronic illnesses myself. Becoming disabled the past 10 years, I have had to learn how to set boundaries in my personal life and ministry. There is a passage of Scripture that I have claimed for my life. Psalm 18:28, 29 – “Lord, you have brought light to my life: my God, you light up my darkness. In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall.” Many things plague us every day that seem too difficult to bear – too great an army – too high a wall.

Let me share an acrostic for LIGHT:
Love (I Thessalonians 5:8)
Ignite (I John 2:10)
Grace & Mercy (Psalm 84:11)
Hope (Psalm 18:28, 29)
Truth (John 1:1-5 & 9)

Jesus Christ is the LIGHT. For those of us who have trusted Jesus Christ as our Savior, the Light shines within us. The Light of His Love should shine through us, to others. The Light that Ignites a spark of encouragement should help us to encourage others. The Light of His wondrous Grace and mercy should help us show grace and mercy to others. The Light gives us Hope when we feel all is lost. We should desire to share the One (Jesus Christ) who is the True Light with others.

Whatever disabilities, burdens, and troubles we may be going through, God promises us that He will be with us each step of the way – renewing our spirits each day. Giving us confidence to forge ahead, looking forward to what we have not seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever! We need to look to the true Light – God’s Son, who came to bring healing and life – abundant and free!

Oh, there are days where I fall back to my old hopeless ways, but I soon heed to the voice of compassion and love, and I rush into the arms of my forgiving and gracious Abba Daddy.
I’m no longer the child who hopelessly, silently cries, but a child of Abba Father who boldly proclaims, “Oh, come to my Daddy, my Savior and yours, who brings hope to the hopeless, with His unfailing love. Oh, Come to the Mender of all Broken Hearts.”


luvmy4sons said...

Thank you for your testimony. I am glad that Abba Father came and ministered to you while you were suffering. His ways are not our ways...why do some suffer so at such a tender age? I have asked myself the same thing being sexually abused as a child. Yet I am so glad for His love and His plan that brought me to Him. Blessings to you!

Grammy said...

Hi Michele,
You are a true gift to the world. I am honored to know you. What a blessing for you to prove them wrong. Your are very gifted with words. And that you from sharing them with me. Be blessed my friend.

Laurie Ann said...

Michelle, what a powerful testimony! Our Heavenly Father is so gracious and loving. (Did we have the same earthly dad and teachers? So glad God proved them wrong!) Awesome post, my friend.

Thank you so much for praying for Jimmy and praising God with me.

Happy Thankful Thursday and Merry Christmas!

Aisha said...

God has his ways in working in each of our lives. I'm glad I got to read your post, very encouraging.

He & Me + 3 said...

What a testimony and story. Praise God for His unfailing and faithful love and devotion.

Denise said...

Bless you for sharing your precious testimony my dear friend. God loves you so very much, and so do I.

Marsha said...

I can remember you and I looking up at each other when we heard those words, "I love you", longing in our eyes, that we'd only heard those words sooner.

I love you!! I'm so thankful for how the Lord has mended your (our) broken heart(s). I'm thankful for all you are to so many, especially me.

Cathryn said...

You are a very special woman Michelle. Very special indeed. It is often hard to turn off recordings in our heads of negative things said and done against us. I'm glad you did. Blessings ~ Cathryn

Nancie said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderful testimony with us, Michele. Thank God for saving you and giving you new life in Him. Your courage and determination to walk with our Lord and be useful in His hands is a great encouragement to me. May God continue to bless you and make you a blessing to many. Take care!

Beth in NC said...

Thank you for sharing your heart Michele. Satan doesn't play fair and loves to attack us as children (especially through those who are supposed to love and nurture us). I'm so thankful that you have replaced the lies with TRUTH and know the love of Abba Father.

Bless you!

Mocha with Linda said...

I hadn't heard this song in years. Thanks for sharing, for sharing your heart, and for lighting your world!