And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.
What do we do when depression ravages our minds? How do we react when anxiety springs up on us unawares? Where do we go to when all of our energy seems to have evaporated into thin air? Where do we turn when adversity becomes our constant companion?
In the 14th century, construction began on the western tower of the St. Waburga Church in Veurne, Belgium. It was going to be a glorious tower, and many were looking forward to seeing its completion. But it never came to be. Due to limited funds, the work was halted and the tower was never completed.
These people could commiserate with those of us whose strength has left us.
Although unfinished however, the tower was far from being useless! Its caves, deep in the ground, were ideal for storing ammunition and protecting Veurne residents from the bombings of World War II, and even today it has found its usefulness. A modern art museum is now hosted there. Even though incomplete, the tower still has its place in society!
I have discovered that age has nothing to do with usefulness. I have met elderly people who are still so full of vigor that they continue to be shining examples of how God had transformed their lives. Not only do they do the unthinkable, like that 90 year-old woman who jumped from a plane (with a parachute naturally!) for the first time in her life, but they also testify about Jesus through their actions, by helping the dejected, by encouraging the hopeless and by visiting the abandoned.
An older lady discovered she had cancer. It didn’t stop her from becoming a missionary in China. “If I have to die, it doesn’t matter where it will occur. I want to die in a place where I can be useful and where I can testify.”
I have also met young people, however, who acted like they were elderly. They have no ambition, no motivation. Maybe it’s because they hadn’t discovered what the apostle Paul had found out:
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 8:35-39 NIV)
Doesn’t this truth fill us with adrenaline? Doesn’t this encourage us to carry this banner of love throughout our neighborhoods? How many around us are hungering for hope? Why can’t we be the ones to satisfy that hunger?
Yes, we may face ridicule, even rejection, but still such consequences are meager compared to the witness of Christians in oppressed countries. Their testimony can cost them their very lives, yet they still go one, undeterred. With God’s love spurring them to action, they bring hope to the hopeless, encouragement to the depressed, and friendship to those who are friendless.
All of those who don’t hesitate to testify have discovered a simple truth: “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor 12:10 NIV)
No matter how incomplete you own “tower” stands, you can make a difference! You don’t have to feel dejected and useless! It’s time to stand up, for you truly are “more than conquerors through him who loved” you.
Are you willing to make a difference in this world?
Dear Lord, help us be the ones to carry Your banner of Love to show to those around us. No matter how incomplete our tower is we ask that You will use us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.