Healing Line

Healing Line

Power of the Testimony

by Linda Strickland
Nov/Dec 2007

Everybody has a story, and on a few occasions I have been asked to share mine. Like most people I have many stories from my life, and while some are fun to share, some are, well — not so fun. The fun ones, for example, consist of the miraculous ways in which the Lord used “loaves and fishes math” to save my husband and me from starvation while in seminary; or how a prayer was answered concerning a health issue. I even have some stories about the way tithing changed our life, and how the Lord gave me a dog just when I needed something to love that would love me back.

However, I am most often asked to share the more painful of these memories and experiences. These are the stories from the time in my life that were the darkest and most shameful. You know what I mean — the stories that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt just how imperfect I am.

On one such occasion, Judith asked me to share my testimony about how God healed my marriage. I have to admit I was a little reluctant. Although my marriage has been completely restored, I have kept the details of that painful time closely guarded. Remember the “not so fun” stories I mentioned earlier? Well, this one is at the top of that list. Besides, I assumed this particular group Judith wanted me to share with probably held me in some form of high regard since I was with her. I found myself feeling concerned that the intimate details I would have to reveal about myself could possibly ruin my presumed good standing.

As I considered whether or not to expose myself and my pain, the Lord led me to a particular passage of scripture. It was the story where Jesus had been resurrected and Thomas had not yet seen Him. He told the other disciples that he would not believe (that Jesus was alive) until he saw the wound in His side and hands. When Jesus found Thomas, what did He do? He showed him His wounds and then invited him to touch them. The scripture then tells us that in that moment Thomas believed.

As I meditated on this powerful scripture, I heard the Lord say to me “If I can show my wounds, so can you.” And so, after confession and under conviction, I obeyed and shared my story that day. Much to my surprise, many people related to my story and opened their hearts for healing. Scripture tells us that “by His stripes we are healed,” and what I have discovered is that Jesus will use “my stripes” to heal as well. As a bonus, every time I share my story I personally experience more healing. Redemption! Isn’t Jesus sweet?

I now consider it a joy and a privilege to tell my story; a story of how God can heal broken people and broken relationships. Paul speaks to this in Philippians when he says “…in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice " (Philippians 2:16b–17). I believe that what he is saying is that “if the story of my suffering can encourage and help you, I will be glad and will rejoice to share it.”

There’s power in the testimony! Now go and share yours!!

Nov/Dec 2007 Issue