The Power of a Testimony
The verse has been one of my favorites since my wife and I made the decision to follow Christ many years ago: “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony” (Revelation 12:11 MEV).
Sadly, in our frenetic-paced society, we have lost sight of the value of sharing testimonies. Accounts of answered prayer, healings, and miraculous developments edify and encourage us.
A friend reminded me of that at a recent mid-week Bible study. During our discussion, he talked about how much he missed hearing testimonies.
I pointed out one reason: they were often shared on Sunday evenings. But Sunday evening church services have gone the way of the dinosaur.
Biscuits & Gravy
The first story he shared that night was about eating “roach gravy.” It happened when he was a young child and his father had been disabled by a sudden illness.
With no safety net in place, the family went six months with no income. Through the kindness of various churches and strangers who heard of their plight, they had enough food to avoid starvation.
Still, one night, the pantry lay bare. His mother looked in the flour canister to see if she had any flour left. The white stuff was full of roaches.
Determined to not let her children go hungry, she grabbed her sifter and did her best to remove the roaches. Afterwards, she added water to the flour and made milky biscuits and thin gravy to pour over it.
“When she was cooking them, my father said they smelled like the best biscuits he had ever smelled—like they were full of butter,” he said. “And Dad said those were the best biscuits and gravy he had ever eaten.”
Keeping the Power
The next morning, their front porch was full of groceries, delivered by persons unknown in the middle of the night. God had again provided in their time of need.
My friend also shared another testimony from the days when he and his wife were living in Atlanta. At a Bible study one day, the leader said they needed to take up an offering (back when people still carried cash).
After passing the hat, the leader gave the money to a woman. Her eyes widened when she saw the amount collected: $283.16. The exact amount she owed on a utility bill. If she didn’t pay it that day, her power would get cut off.
Providing and Providing
Skeptics can pass off such stories as exaggerations or someone’s fanciful imagination. Yet I know they’re true.
One example is the time we stopped to visit a friend en route to see our daughter and son-in-law, then stationed with the Army in Alabama.
At the end of a Bible study we attended with him, my friend said they needed to take up an offering. Then he handed me the $63 that had been given.
We used most of the cash when we reached our destination to buy spark plugs, points and a distributor cap for our car.
A couple of years later, our finances were strained. A check I had been expecting didn’t show up. My wife opened the refrigerator. Nothing. Not even a piece of bread.
“What are we going to do?” she asked.
“It’s Wednesday night,” I replied. “I guess we’ll go to church.”
Afterwards, our pastor walked up and said, “Do y’all want to come to the house for sandwiches?” Did we ever!
The next day the check arrived and we bought groceries. But we’ve never forgotten that God always has our back.