The day was beautiful. The sun was shining brightly. In my hands was a well deserving cup of espresso. A familiar quote came to mind. “When you find a place of peace, linger there.” Sipping the warm brew on that day, I purposely did just that. Without guilt I lingered in that place of peace and tranquility.
The park was full of life. There were passers-by, from different walks of life, all doing their own thing. A mother was teaching her daughter how to swing for the very first time. A father was tutoring his son on how to properly ride his new bike. From a distance, there was an artist, realizing he was up against time, who began hastily sketching the last rays of the sun before it would set for the day. All around life was taking place. In this world, there is happiness and joy; peace and turbulence. A season for all things, as the book of Lamentations states.
I began to remember a testimony from a friend from the past. She shared with me an illustration. She took out a single sheet of paper and then proceeded to rip it into several pieces. I stared at her in askance. She took her time, not allowing me to rush her testimony. To look at her you would never have known her inner turmoil, the difficult struggles she, alone, had to endure.
From behind me came one of the most beautiful voices I’d ever recall hearing. The sound brought me out of my past ruminations. Looking around the park, I noticed many of the occupants had left for the day. Turning toward that enrapturing voice, I noticed a woman dressed in a bold, long flowing red sundress. Her hair was coiffed high on her head. Her accessories were Afrocentric in nature. Beside her was a guitarist who played softly as she sang the song, “Incredible God Deserves Incredible Praise,” by the gospel group Youthful Praise. I couldn’t help smiling in affirmation at the words, the songstress was singing. They were the words of a testimony being sung for someone:
I’ve had some problems
Some great and some small
You being God
Delivered me from them all
Still can’t believe
All the ways you’ve made
An incredible God deserves incredible praise.
The song had me remembering once again, the woman’s testimony. The young woman finally continued on. “I was completely whole at one point. I was like a newborn, laughter came easily. Trust was not broken. I was living on top of the world.” My focus on her became absolute, as I sensed there was something she was ready to reveal. “It happened quickly, so unexpectedly. Through it all God kept me. He is incredible! Who can defy natural law and order? Who can restore the impossible? No one but God. He deserves incredible praise,” Turning she pulled out another sheet of paper.
I continued to watch her in rapt fascination. Wondering where she was going with this. My mind was too busy conceiving its own answers. Is that not how we oftentimes do? When the situation gets hot and answers are slow in coming, there is the tendency to want to “help” God out. Pain can be a potent driving force. It can force you to make haste and/or early decisions. Be mindful of the decisions you make in the process of time; your future weighs upon them. Practice and master discipline, then half the battle will be won. We want to work it out when God has already worked it out.
Certainly when something is torn apart there is no redemption for it. Apparently my facial expression conveyed my inner thoughts, because she patiently looked at me and smiled.
Feeling her slight censure, I was immediately humbled. Submitting my thoughts, I focused on her. Yes, the paper was torn. “That was me then. She pointed to the torn pieces of paper.” I really looked at her. I saw her as a woman courageously sharing her testimony. She held up another piece of paper. “This is me now.” She raised the whole piece of paper high in the air, and began waving it around like a banner. “I am whole.” I remember some of my public struggles.
“I was once broken/torn into pieces. Yet here I stand today, a whole woman.” There was a look about her that was never present before. It was the look of a victorious woman. At that moment, revelation dawned on me. Our thoughts are neither Gods thoughts nor our ways His ways. He is omnipotent! All power belongs to Him. How quickly we tend to forget this, when things are torn from us. The Apostle Peter took his eyes off of Jesus in the storm and began to sink. Don’t lose focus. When God chooses you for a purpose, trust Him to lead you through the fire, and to your destiny. God’s will is good and is made perfect. Watch this: She was testifying how God had made her new. He gave her a new mind, a new heart, a new song, a new praise! You are not invisible. Coming from behind is your testimony, earned. You are a light, that cannot be hidden, your time to shine; will come, are you ready for it? Believe me when I say, you are relevant in the most tangible way. You must know this… and then believe it. Your time to shine will come. Like the Sun, it knows it time to rise, to illuminate, the WORLD. He can make you whole again. He is an incredible God, deserving of incredible praise.
(Editor’s note: Vanessa Richardson can be contacted firstname.lastname@example.org)