Quail Ministries presents...
a personal testimony...Be Ye Glad
Before reading this testimony, I want you to understand a little bit of the background, and my interest in this stroy.
Over a year ago, some close friends of my wife and mine were obviously under pressure from an undisclosed source. Part of their purpose in visiting us at that time (we had been living in another state for about a year), was to warn us that soon some information would come to our attention that would be the greatest test of our friendship. They assured us that they would understand if, once we knew what had happened, we chose to forsake further contact and fellowship with them. We had been friends for many years, in fact he and I had been close since early high school years; had been best man in one anothers weddings, been in the waiting room for the births of one anothers sons. We had survived financial problems, joint business deals, church problems, marital stress -- in short, faced many challenges, encouraging and supporting one another. My wife and I could not imagine what could be so devastating that they worried our friendship would be stretched to the breaking point.
Several weeks later we learned the truth: they both had AIDS. The details of how it was contracted are pointless to recount; it is sufficient to say that God allowed it for His ultimate honor and glory. My wife and I were stunned-struggling to grasp the ramifications of this information: the suffering and certain deaths of our friends, the social stigma of the disease, the futures of their two small children... the effects were devastating in their magnitude. As we looked to one another, and to our Lord Jesus Christ, for comfort, we sought to understand Gods purpose in allowing this tragedy.
Then one day the wife called and urged me to buy a tape "The Acapella Project" and listen in particular to the song "Be Ye Glad". She told me what an encouragement the song had been to her -- how much it had comforted and ministered to her. After listening closely to the words, I understood some of their value in comfort, but was curious to know why it meant so much to her. I asked her to put it in writing. The following is her response to my request. It is an insight into her soul - the doubts, fears, questions, sufferings of one facing lifes ultimate test. But instead of dwelling on these factors, this testimony focuses on the solution to every test if life -- the grace which is our abundant supply through Jesus Christ.
I pray this testimony will be as much a blessing to you as it has been to me and that God will use it to bring glory to our Saviour.
Be Ye Glad!
In these days of confused situations:
What could be a more confused situation? You are married and you are happy. You are secure. Suddenly, you become critically ill and you are at the lowest and physically weakest point of your entire life. Instead of the comfort and healing of the one you love most - you receive the most painful blow of your life. He loves you - but he also loves someone else. He would never hurt you - but hes killed you - he's ready to move out - but he doesn't 'think' he wants to leave. He doesn't know anything anymore. And you feel like dying - now! This is a confused situation.
In these nights of restless remorse:
After a heart has been broken, there comes a quiet time... a painful time... a time for grieving and being wounded. It's very lonely. But it's time when the peace of God bathes you... numbs you... soothes you and delicately He mends the broken heart. You must turn to God here. You must allow Him to care for you. He makes the 'restless remorse' to turn into a peace that passes understanding. "Thank you, Father."
When the heart and the soul of a nation:
Ever since my crisis, I find myself looking into strange faces in public and asking them with my eyes... "are you hurting, too?... are you suffering, too? " I'm certainly not the only person who has ever been broken-hearted...
Lay wounded and cold as a corpse:
When "it" hits this nation we will be devastated. Tens of thousands of our young, productive people will be cut down in the prime of their lives. Children will lose their parents. Mothers will lose their sons. Fathers, their daughters. We will lose sisters, uncles, grandchildren and friends. There will be a great mourning in the land. This will be very painful.
From the grave of the innocent Adam:
God is wonderful. He wouldn't consider asking me to suffer so unjustly without having shown me how through His own dear Son. We deserve whatever we get. Jesus Christ was not guilty, but He willingly paid the penalty for all our sins, I can learn from Him. He built the bridges Im crossing.
Comes a song bringing joy to the sad:
The Good News of God to men is the only thing that gives me happiness. Grace reaching down to lift me up to truth - it's amazing. I have been broken... I have been wounded. What causes my soul to rally is the hope that comes from knowing God and from believing that one day I will laugh all of this off as "present light affliction."
Oh your cry has been heard:
The secret to everything is prayer. Not the believing in it... not the talking about it... but the doing it. The prayers I've prayed as far back as 19 years ago are now being answered. I have been crying out for years and He was answering all along. He will never leave me, nor forsake me. When I am faithless - He is faithful.
The ransom has been paid up in full:
God is free to do everything for me because of what Christ did for me on the cross. The man I love is not guilty because of what my Lord did for us on His cross. The price for my sins had to be paid. I didn't have to pay it. "Thank you, Father."
Be ye glad, oh be ye glad, oh be ye glad.
How can I be anything else but glad? He saved my soul, He saved my marriage, He saved my husband, He saved my life. He allowed me to see the joy set before me so that I have gladly been able to endure my cross. I get to have inner happiness in a time when that is humanly impossible.
Every debt that you ever had:
This thing will break us financially. To my shame we will have to depend on others for food, shelter, bills, medicine, doctors visits and on and on and on. The human sacrifice on our behalf is amazing. We are indebted to so many. - for so much - we can never repay it. Never! It is humiliating. It's humbling.
Has been paid up in full by the grace of the Lord:
I can't repay my debts, but the Lord can. Every believer that gives me time, love, attention, financial support, strokes, hugs, prayers, patience, and so much more, gets credit as though he has given those things to Jesus Christ Himself. If they do it to "the least of these" - they do it also for Him. I love to think of the rewards in eternity waiting for those who have given so much of themselves on account of me.
Be ye glad, oh be ye glad, be ye glad:
Words cannot express the fulness in my soul. I can't believe I get to do this!
Now from your dungeons a rumor is stirring:
We are like sheep for the slaughter... I am a slave to my disease - I am a prisoner of my body until God calls me home. Spiritually, I am a prisoner of war...Threats and innuendoes permeate my dreams and my thoughts. They play on my fears... and try to convince me that this is a losing battle. They tell me it's not worth it.
Though you have heard it again and again:
This isnt new to me;...they never seem to give up. At times they change their tactics but their goal is always the same... seek and destroy!
Ah but this time your cell keys are turning:
All of my life I have felt like I lost every battle... because I defeated myself. I never took the fight seriously. Oh sure, I "took it in" but I never made the effort to "put it back out". The "shortness of time" has made the difference. I have to make A's and I always wait until the last minute to prepare for the tests. Well, its Sunday night and I have a final exam in the morning.
And outside there are faces of friends:
They say don't expect to have five good friends in your life. I have been truly blessed. Never have I known truer friends. Tragedy has a way of bringing the best out in people. My friends have escorted me through dark times when I feared they would let me down. They show me Christ.
And though your body lay weary from wasting:
I never had much of God before... I took it for granted. I wasn't grateful. Now I thank God for all the strength and good health I have left. I have felt myself deteriorate. My strength has diminished. I depend on others for simple chores that I used to complain about having to do. I am losing my human dignity and what I've already been through is absolutely nothing compared to what it's going to be.
And your eyes show the sorrow they've had:
You can see this in the way I look at people. In my eyes is not a reflection of the suffering I have endured - but rather it is a reflection of the compassion God has given me by means of the sorrow I've experienced. I pray I will never let go of my understanding of what people go through in this life. Lord let me look with compassion out of these eyes of mine.
Oh the love that your heart is now tasting:
The very thing I have craved all of my life... approval - is now coming to me in ways almost unbearable for me to handle. I am enjoying a deep, personal relationship with people who would have otherwise passed me over had they not known my circumstances; I thank God that I have been so blessed in time. I haven't had to wait for eternity to reap the rewards of such love from people I respect the most.
Has opened the gates: be ye glad:
When life was more simple I missed so much. The whole realm of human emotions has been opened to me. The Lord has revealed Himself to me in ways I had only been told of before. Now I have experienced Him and my faith and appreciation of Him has been magnified. This has increased my capacity for real happiness.
So be like lights on the rim of the water:
I want to let the light within me shine. If the world doesnt see God's grace in my life then my life is in vain. When people look at me I want them to be able to see past my flaws, my failures and my abilities to cope and in looking past my weakness I want them to see the strength of Christ. Without Him I am nothing. Oh Father let me be great in You. Please let my light shine!
Giving hope in a storm sea of night:
There is nothing so helpless as a ship out of control in the darkness of a storm. That "is" my life. But like my Lord, I want to sleep peacefully and remain calm while all others around me are losing their heads. If God can save me from myself and see me through this test then He can, and will do it for anyone else inside of His plan. I want to live in the eye of the hurricane. There is peace in the eye of the hurricane.
Be a refuge amidst the slaughter:
I crave to be the person that people will come to for help. I never feel better than when I am useful to others. I pray to God to be used however He sees fit. I know this only comes from brokenness and humility.
For these fugitives in their flight:
I feel so sorry for the people who endure hardship and disease apart from the grace of God. How do they do it? I have Christ to run to. He sustains me. Let me show Christ to others as they look to me for help. I pray that this disease will humble this nation. It will bring us to our knees. If we will only run into the hands of a loving God.
For you are timeless and part of a puzzle:
God could have overlooked me, but in His grace He bent down and brought me up to where He is. I am so excited to get to play a part in God's plan. Left alone I would have never gotten up off my spiritual rear to serve the Lord. I volunteered timidly ... and by grace He chose to use me anyway. I am impressed with the way that everything is coming together in my life. Things that happened when I was three are only now starting to make sense and to fit into the big picture. Everything is working together for "the good".
You are winsome and young as a lad:
My body, though only thirty, is feeling old. I will never grow old, but I will still have to experience the decay and slowing of my system. This is on the outside. On the inside of my soul is the excitement and the joy that only God can give. I would not change one single thing about this gift God has given me. I would never have picked this test for myself - but since God has chosen my path - I will walk in it with my head held high and in His strength.
And there is no disease or no struggle that can pull you from God:
There is nothing that can match the shame of putting AIDS on an arrogant Christian woman who has spent her life shunning the "dregs of society". I have become the scum of the earth. I am the poor, the trash, the filth. I am lower than the lowest... and I didn't go there by choice... a broken heart and... the mantle of suffering placed upon me have forced me to the foot of the cross. From that close range I can get a good clear look at my example - my Lord Jesus Christ. I want to be just like Him when I grow up.
Be ye glad!
"I can't believe God is letting me do this! I love it! God help me, I love it!"