Throughout my lifetime, hearing or reading about the faith journeys of thousands of Christians has substantiated my belief that individuals most often come to know Christ when they cry out to Him in a crisis. And often their faith is reinforced, or even inspired, by the testimony of others who are willing to share the stories of their own personal relationships with Christ and how they were in a tough situation.
This plan couples those two very common elements of the Christian experience with yet a third element — the overwhelming tendency of those who come to develop a personal relationship with Christ to return God’s grace in the form of Christian service to others in need.
The Christian experience many times progresses through the following three phases:
1. Experiencing a crisis
2. Receiving grace
3. Returning grace to others
Most of the inspiring and compelling stories I’ve been blessed to hear reflect all three of the above phases. These are stories of individuals who were in a crisis, either of their own volition or imposed on them by others or by external influences.
Whatever their crisis—a serious health issue, depression, PTSD, a history of emotional or sexual abuse, an addiction to drugs or alcohol, or the loss of a loved one—they all cried out to God for help.
In their desperate appeal for relief, their prayers were answered, and they were blessed immeasurably by the loving grace of God. In their gratitude, they felt compelled to share their stories and return God’s grace to others experiencing crises similar to their own.
I believe strongly in the power of spiritual sharing. In my post-retirement, post-divinity school “ministry,” I have felt called to touch individuals in crisis with the stories and testimonies of those who have found relief and joy in a way that only faith in Christ and a relationship with Him can provide.
If you find yourself in a desperate crisis that is causing great emotional pain and suffering, it is my fervent prayer that reading how others experienced God’s grace can provide you with relief and a transformation that inspires you to return that grace to others in need.