I am inspired to share a testimony that surprised me once again and also taught me a lesson.
… Back in early July, due to very hot weather and very cold air conditioner (bad combination!!!), I caught a really bad cold. Each time I took a breath I had pain in the trachea, and when I wanted to take a deeper breath – I had pain and began coughing, and as soon as I started to speak – I had coughing fits. I could not say even one sentence without interruption of coughing!
Soon after, I was invited to participate in an online conference that was planned in a few weeks. I agreed to participate being sure that in a couple of weeks I would be well. I got better over time, but I couldn’t speak still. I waited until the last moment and did not cancel my participation, as I did not want to let the organizer down and expected my health to improve.
But when I got up on the morning of the day of the conference, I could hardly speak. And at midnight I had to speak for 30 minutes non-stop. How? God, how am I going to speak for half an hour, if I can’t say even a simple sentence without coughing fits?
I already thought that maybe it’s better for me not to participate at all. I just couldn’t imagine what it would be like when the speaker can’t even say one thought without coughing. I wrote to the organizer of the conference about my health and said that I would leave it up to her to decide whether it’s better to cancel my participation or leave it as planned.
The organizer said that it was impossible to cancel my participation and I absolutely needed to be there and that she would pray with her church for my health. Then, at that moment, my friend Svetlana wrote to me asking about my health, and I asked her and the group to pray.
This was one of those times when there was no one to rely on other than supernatural help from the Lord. I said, “Lord, if you want me to participate, then You yourself make a miracle, remove the cough so that I can speak and convey the message that You inspired me to share.”
The conference time came, I was introduced and I began to speak. And, the miracle was happening right as I was speaking – while I was sharing my message, I realized that there were no coughing fits! I was able to speak without coughing! Furthermore, I even spoke in a full voice as much as I could, which is incredible, because for almost a month, when I took a deeper breath or tried to speak in a full voice, I had such coughing fits that it was even hard to stop them. AMAZING!
Lessons I’ve learned:
~ If something bad is going on in your life for some time – do not take it as a norm, do not agree with it and don’t accept it, but call out to God no matter how big the problem is or how likely it is that you will get an answer. Ask others to pray for you. God can do a miracle even at the last moment.
~ If you don’t feel well or something prevents you from doing something, do not break your decision saying that something is in a way, that there are obstacles that prevent you from following through your commitment. Call out to God. The Lord has the power to bless you under any circumstance. What is required from us is obedience to the Lord and faithfulness.
Praise be to God, I am well, no more coughing fits.:-)
So many people who love the Lord face troubles and hardships in
life. Sometimes it’s tempting to say “Lord, how much longer can I bear this,
why is this happening in my life?”
After the tragedy in my life, I was in constant emotional anguish
and physical pain. And over the years since then, challenges and trials one
after another were coming my way. At times it felt as though difficulties and
struggle became my daily bread. Sometimes I could hardly endure it. At the
time, I just knew I had to be strong and overcome. And so gaining endurance
from trusting the Lord, I made every effort to be steadfast and worked hard to
change and improve my circumstances. It wasn’t easy at all to go through the
trials. But there came a time when I started seeking for the value in a bad
situation. And what a surprise and astonishment it was to see how beneficial
those hardships were! Today, I am grateful to them for so many things.
It’s because of problems and continuous difficulties that I became
stronger, resilient, and persistent. The car accident and following
insurmountable obstacles, pain and ongoing challenges tested me and formed me
into a different person than I used to be. Hardships taught me how not to give up
when I felt couldn’t take it anymore. Severe pain developed both endurance and
compassion within me. Obstacles taught me how relentless effort can break
through any kind of barrier. Challenges taught me how to push myself and go
beyond what I thought I could do. Devastating destruction, betrayal, and
heartbrokenness taught me how to be unstoppable.
One of the highest values that I’ve gained through the devastation
and hopelessness is that through them I have learned to have unshakable faith
and trust the Lord at all times, and I have experienced the most incredible
testimonies of answered prayers. It’s because of my experiential knowledge my
faith became stronger than ever before and I have learned very valuable lessons
that I could not have learned otherwise.
Understanding how much value I received from the times of trials totally transformed my attitude toward them and radically changed my experience going through difficulties later on. Since then, it became much easier for me to handle challenges.
Our human nature tries to avoid trials and tribulations, but in the Word of God, we find that they are actually for our own good. As seen in verses below, trials form us into persons who we need to become.
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.( 1 Peter 1: 6-7)
…Rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.( Romans 5:2b-4)
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (James 1:2-4)
Problems, hardships, and circumstances that seemed to be the exact
opposite of what I had asked in my prayer served an important and valuable
purpose in my life. I only made it harder for myself by allowing my concerns
and frustrations to disturb my peace. I want to pass on to you the lesson that
I had to learn the hard way – do not fear, but remain in peace fully trusting
that the Lord has everything under control. Furthermore, in His Word, it’s
written that all things work together for good in the lives of those who are
chosen and who love Him. Whatever situation you are going through right now –it
will work for the good, too. It might be difficult for you to agree with it
right now, but you will see/understand it when the time comes.
God is bringing you through the tough pressure and heat for a
reason. God is shaping a diamond out of you. Did you know that a diamond is
nothing more than a piece of coal which was under highly intense work? No
matter how strange it may sound, but both coal and diamond are one and the
same. Coal and diamond look completely different, but they both are exactly the
same chemical element (carbon atom), it’s just they are in a different form.
Changing the crystal structure with high pressure and high temperature, coal
becomes a diamond. No matter how unbelievable it might look, a diamond is
really a black stone, which has gone through the intense process of high
pressure and high temperature before it became a beautiful jewel. And it takes
a long time for it to become so beautiful.
You might be going through a very tough time right now. But know that this is how God is teaching you and is working with you to develop necessary character traits within you. It is difficult for you now, but there will come a day when you will become as beautiful as these diamonds are and you will shine for His glory.
Meanwhile, the key is to have a close relationship with Him and allow Him to do the work with you. Instead of dwelling on how hard and painful it is, look at your situation through a different perspective – ask yourself “What is really going on behind this event? What am I supposed to learn from this experience? What good can I see in all of this?”
The Lord will do His part and He is faithful, but there is also a
lot of responsibility on our part. The end result will depend on our choices.
We have a choice to murmur, complain and be a victim, but we know that the end
of this path may lead you to even greater sorrow. Stories in the Bible are
there as lessons to us to not repeat the mistake of Israelites. Another choice
is to be steadfast and patiently go through this time. Instead of fear and
doubt choose to trust the Lord. Equipped by unshakable faith, step out of your
comfort zone with courage and determination. Persevere to continuously improve
your situation and never give up.
And when you feel you have no strength to withstand the adversities you’re facing, ask the Lord to strengthen you. Remember, that only through high temperature and high-pressure coal transforms into a beautiful diamond. And with God, you are strong enough to go through it all.
Oh, bless our God, you peoples!
And make the voice of His praise to be heard, Who keeps our soul among the living,
And does not allow our feet to be moved.
For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined.
You brought us into the net; You laid affliction on our backs.
You have caused men to ride over our heads;
We went through fire and through water;
But You brought us out to rich fulfillment. (Psalm 66:8-12)