Testimony of Faith
If you would like to share your experience of the Holy Spirit's guidance in your life, you may contact Elizabeth Shick via email.
Last updated: 12/5/2016
I Live Because He Loves by Sharon A.
On a wild stormy night in Lakewood, Ohio, on June 25, 2009, I experienced the love of Christ and the protection of the Holy Spirit in a very tangible sense. On that night, I was driving home from work. I had just dropped my son off at his dad’s house—we had ridden to work together. As I pulled out of the driveway, I got a phone call from my fiancé. I ask him if I could call him back when I got home because the storm was bad and I needed to pay attention to my driving. He never got a call from me that night because it would be another four months before I made it home.
Weeks later the events of that ride home were speculated as follows, although I have no remembrance of any of it. In the 70 mile an hour winds, a huge tree branch fell onto my car, puncturing the windshield of my car. I must have veered left of center. The driver of an oncoming pickup truck saw me coming and tried to move out of my way. He avoided a head-on collision, but my car grazed the back of his truck, which deployed my airbag. They say the shock of the airbag deployment must have disoriented me so that my foot hit the accelerator rather than the brake. I slammed into a tree at a high speed, totaling my car and almost totaling me. The presence of the Holy Spirit in my life was evidenced by a series of miracles.
Miracle #1—The man in the pickup truck I hit came to assist—he is an EMT! This man saved my life by not allowing anyone to move me until the paramedics arrived. At first they took me to Lakewood Hospital, where they quickly determined I had to be life-flighted to Metro Health because Lakewood couldn’t handle the extent of my injuries.
Miracle #2—I live in one of the best medically advanced cities in the nation. Metro Health physicians worked on me all night, piecing me back together and keeping me alive. They placed me into a drug-induced coma in ICU for four weeks.
Miracle #3—I had internal injuries that could not be addressed until my outer wounds healed. One of my injuries was an aortal pseudo-aneurism (basically a “bubble” in the artery that threatens to burst) in two places. This is similar to what killed Princess Diana. But I did not die. My aorta could not be repaired for several months, yet I survived!
Miracle #4—When I was finally able to have the heart surgery, they discovered that one of the pseudo-aneurisms had healed itself! The morning after the surgery, my physician confided that they had discovered a third pseudo-aneurism in my carotid artery in my neck that they had not known about. If they had made the repairs as planned on the second heart pseudo-aneurism, likely the carotid artery would have burst—and I would have died on the operating table.
My faith was strong before my accident, but this experience only served to intensify my confidence in the power of our mighty and awesome God! There is nothing He will bring me to that He will not see me through. Were it not for all the prayers of the faithful through my months of healing, I might have given up. I am extremely grateful for my friends and family who supported me through the years of healing. I know God has blessed me richly and I see His presence continually in my life.
“The true mission of the church is for us not to forget the words of God when he said, “The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor…..(Luke 4:18). In this we are to do something about the brokenhearted, poor, unemployed, the captive, the blind, and the bruised”. These words were spoken by the minister of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, Rev. Michael King.
He was born in rural Stockbridge, Ga in 1897. Life was hard for an African-American family at the turn of the century and Michael saw his fair share of brutality while still very young. His mother would take he and his siblings to the local Baptist church as a respite from the harsh realities of growing up in the segregated South. Michael acquired a deep respect for the few black preachers that would speak out about the injustice suffered because of skin color. He would mimic them often, occasionally practicing eulogies for the family chickens. By the time he was 20 years old he had decided to become a preacher. He eventually was admitted to Morehouse College where he got his degree. By 1931 he was the minister at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Altanta and began his family. He preached a social gospel of Christianity that combined a belief in personal salvation through Christ with the need to apply the teachings of Jesus to the everyday problems and issues of his mostly black congregations.
In 1934 he attended the World Baptist Alliance in Berlin. From there he had the opportunity to travel around Germany where he saw Erfurt, the place of Martin Luther’s conversion, the University of Wittenberg where Luther nailed the 95 thesis on the door, then on to Palestine and several sites in the Holy Land. He was so moved by the experience after seeing these things with his own eyes that upon his return he changed his name and that of his eldest son to Martin Luther.
Years later, his son, Martin Luther King Jr, inspired by his father’s love for his God and strength in the face of derision became a preacher and one of the most famous Civil Rights leaders our country has ever known. “Jr” preached a Gospel of God’s love for ALL mankind and God’s constant toughminded and tenderhearted way of dealing with His people. He said, “God has two outstretched arms. One is strong enough to surround us with Justice, and one is gentle enough to embrace us with Grace”. *
In this stressful season, let us all take few minutes to remember what we are celebrating and what God has asked us to do. We too are “annointed to preach the Gospel and to do something………………” Each and every one of us has been given the toughminded and tenderhearted gift from our Father in heaven just as His Son exemplified by His suffering and death. How little it is to ask for us to share His message during this celebration of our Savior’s birth. Let us all proudly and happily say “Merry Christmas!” and spread our Christian mission.
*excerpt from Strength to Love by Martin Luther King Jr pg 6.