When I go down to the grave I can say, like many others, ‘I have finished my day’s work!’ But I cannot say, ‘I have finished my life.’ My day’s work will begin again the next morning. The tomb is not a blind alley; it is a thoroughfare! It closes on the twilight, it opens on the dawn!
There is an appropriate way to use your story, not as an excuse but as a testimony to God’s ability to free you from the past.
Some believers are “fast movers” whose Christian lives are full of stops and starts. But they often complain that they’re getting nowhere fast. The better testimony would be “I’m getting somewhere slowly.” This is more realistic, for true learning, growing, and overcoming are gradual experiences.
Tony Campolo recalls a deeply moving incident that happened in a Christian junior high camp where he served. One of the campers, a boy with spastic paralysis, was the object of heartless ridicule. When he would ask a question, the boys would deliberately answer in a halting, mimicking way. One night his cabin group chose him to lead the devotions before the entire camp. It was one more effort to have some “fun” at his expense. Unashamedly the spastic boy stood up, and in his strained, slurred manner – each word coming with enormous effort – he said simply, “Jesus loves me – and I love Jesus!” That was all. Conviction fell upon those junior highers. Many began to cry, revival gripped the camp. Years afterward, Campolo still meets men in the ministry who came to Christ because of that testimony.
Many of us have had to stand alone for years witnessing to the power of Christ to save His people to the uttermost. Like Joshua and Caleb, we have had to follow God alone as we followed Him wholly. But this is the real victory of faith and the proof of our uncompromising fidelity. Let us not, therefore, complain when we suffer reproach for our testimony or stand alone for God. Let us, rather, thank Him that He so honours us and stand the test so that He can afterwards use us when the multitudes are glad to follow.