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My Testimony of God’s Grace in 2017
I was blessed with the privilege of getting to share the testimony of Christ’s grace in my life. I’ve learned and grown a great deal since I have had my transplant, I did have multiple people around me respond to the Gospel invitation, and come up and pray with me at the end. I also didn’t share in this the time when I first believed the Gospel, and realized my need for a savior. That was when I was in KL. I knew that I was a sinner, that I could not save myself, and that I needed God’s grace. I responded and placed my faith in Jesus Christ as my savior, that He had paid the penalty for my sin on the cross.
I share a story of hope with you. I’ve been asked to share the testimony of how Jesus Christ has saved my life. My kidney stopped working a little less than year ago. I don’t know exactly how This happened.My Mom did her best to give me strength and support but I was eager to get out and do things I thought were right.
A few months ago, I gave a urine sample. They found that the urine sample had too much protein in it, a sign of a kidney problem. The doctor ordered a kidney biopsy. This was a shock, but I figured I would beat the odds, and somehow get the kidneys to last the rest of my life. I was in denial, and I was very self reliant at this time of my life. I just didn’t realize how much I needed God for dealing with this problem.
I believe disease and suffering are consequences out of the fall, the decision of Adam and Eve to disobey God. As a result of disobeying God, evil entered into the world. They are a consequence out of our rebellion. I do believe that God uses disease and suffering for our good. Just like a parent sometimes needs to let a child make a wrong decision and fail, so that they can ultimately learn a lesson that builds their character, the same happens out of suffering. In hindsight, I wouldn’t trade my kidney disease for anything in the world because it has drawn me so much closer to God, and He has carried me through it and shown me His power and love through the experience. I hope you’ll be able to see what I mean through this testimony.
Paul tells us in Romans:
Rom 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Jesus is a personal Savior to me. Jesus came into this fallen world and suffered, to the point of death on a cross. He knows what we have gone through. But, Jesus is perfect, and without sin. He entered into our fallen world to redeem it from sin. We have all fallen to temptation, and given in from sin. Jesus never did. The Apostle Paul teaches us in Romans 3:23:
Rom 3:23: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
We know that when Adam and Eve sinned originally, and suffering entered into the world, as did death. God has declared death as the penalty for sin. Because we are all sinners, all of us are deserving of this death penalty. Paul tells us more about this in Romans 6:23:
Rom 6:23a: For the wages of sin is death
I too am a sinner. I deserve death for my sin. God is just and has justly set the penalty for sin as death. In retrospect, the kidney disease should have really woken me up to this reality of my mortality. But it didn’t. The only immediate impact back then is that the Doctor wouldn’t allow me to continue to go back to work. He thought it was just too risky for someone with damaged kidneys. So, I reluctantly complied and moved on.. I was turning to anything but God and looking for happiness in all of the wrong places. I am the luckiest guy in the world that God is so patient and got me through this time. Even with this period of rebellion and dependence on anything but God in my life, God had a plan of hope, and a plan of love planned out for me even before I existed. The Apostle Paul tells us about this also in Romans:
Rom 5:6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
Rom 5:7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die–
Rom 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
God has always planned for Jesus to come into the world, to live as a man, but to live a perfect life without sin. Jesus laid down His life for us, to be a substitute for us and to pay the death penalty for our sin. Only through Jesus’ shed blood on the cross, is God’s wrath for our sin satisfied and the death penalty paid. God loves all of us so much, that Jesus came and died for us. He was the substitute in our place for our just death penalty so that God’s wrath against our sin is satisfied.
I graduated from college and I started working. My kidneys were still working. I was still pretty rebellious. I knew the reality that Jesus had died on the cross for me, but this hadn’t really impacted the way I live my life.
As my health began to deteriorate, I began to realize that I had a pretty serious problem and I couldn’t handle it all by myself. Just as I had relied upon God to solve my problem with sin, I realized that this health situation was too big for me to solve. This humbled me, and I realized that I wasn’t the center of the universe. I was starting to learn to trust God and to grow a little bit.
I began to read the holy book on a regular basis. I knew that I didn’t have the solution to the problem and I needed God. My friend And companion- my mother was instrumental in this. This helped me so much. I became part of a body of believers. I had people to help me to grow, to study God’s word with, to reflect God’s love to me. I hope if you are in a situation like I was, where I was very self reliant and just trying to work things out on my own, that you’ll listen and take my advice instead of having to figure this out yourself the hard way. I know I probably wouldn’t have listened to someone at that time, but by God’s love and grace eventually He broke through my hard headedness and drew me closer to Him. God has so much more planned for you than you can figure out on your own and a significant part of these blessings come from being part of a body of believers. The relationships and accountability, as well God’s love, mercy, and grace experienced with other Christians is just invaluable to your spiritual growth.
One of the greatest blessings in my life, that I believe is truly a gift from God, is my mother. God brought her into my life, and I’m never alone. Jesus promises to always be with me and I have surrendered my life to Him and try to lean on Him for everything in my life.
I’m not sure how I would have made it through the past year without her. But, she is so much more. I have learned so much about God’s love and grace together with mom. I believe thid is a way that God reflects His love into our lives and helps us to learn about what He intends a relationship to be, a small part of that perfect fellowship that exists within the Godhead, within the Trinity – and Mom is just about the ideal person for me where I truly believe it was God’s work giving her strength, and just one more blessing He has perpetrated at just the right time when I was ready and needed it the most. Anyway, we have been through a lot and I love her dearly, and I just thank God for her in my life.
Paul tells in 2nd Corinthians:
2Co 4:15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
2Co 4:16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.
2Co 4:17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,
2Co 4:18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
Our bodies are subject to the fall. They are subject to entropy. We are mortal and our flesh is only temporary. God has a plan for that, that He accomplished through the cross and resurrection, redeeming us to Him and providing eternal life. Jesus died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. But that is not the end of the story. After the cross, Jesus was buried in a tomb. There He stayed for 3 days. On the morning of the third day, Jesus conquered death and rose again, to eternal life. Paul tells us in Romans:
Rom 6:9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.
Rom 6:10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.
Rom 6:11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Jesus has conquered death. Paul also tells us in Romans:
Rom 6:23b but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Because Jesus has paid the death penalty for our sins, and has conquered death and lives forever, we have hope in this free gift from God and hope for eternal life, and for the redemption of creation where there is no more suffering. This is what I mean by keeping an eternal perspective now when we are going through suffering, keeping our thoughts on this victory over death and suffering. Suffering is only temporary.
This was my hope as I entered into dialysis. I went into the hospital to have a permacatheter placed and to start dialysis. This was a tough day in my life where I really needed God’s strength and peace, and to keep an eternal perspective. A permacatheter is a port that gets placed into your jugular vein, and threaded down close to you heart in your chest. It allows hooking you up to the dialysis machine. This first time getting a permacatheter placed was one of the worst experiences of my life. Before going into the radiology lab for the procedure, they asked me if I wanted something to take the edge off. They said about half the people that get this done get something, about half don’t. I don’t want any drugs I don’t absolutely require medically and like to be alert in situations like this, so I told them that I would be ok without anything. So, I got wheeled into the lab, and they numbed up my neck with lidocaine. They then used a machine to puncture my jugular. This wasn’t bad and I didn’t feel it. But, the next part was awful. The part where they had to thread the catheter ends down into the jugular. Lidocaine numbs the top area so you don’t feel cutting, but you can still feel pressure. So, shoving the foot or so of tubing down into my chest was just an incredible amount of pressure and uncomfortableness. It was just awful. I didn’t know what to do, so I just began to pray. God was so merciful, and drew me so close to Him. Even though I still felt the pressure of the tube being pushed in, just an incredible sense of peace came over me and I knew I was going to get through this and it was going to be over soon. I am just so thankful for this love, mercy, and grace of God holding me so close and tenderly at this time. The first dialysis went smoothly that day. Eventually, everyone left and I was alone l. I wasn’t feeling great after dialysis as my body wasn’t used to the new, cleaner chemistry in my blood, and the shock of the day and everything hit me. I hit a low point, where I was really feeling sorry for myself. Again, I just didn’t know what else to do, so I prayed again. Again, God just showed such mercy and grace and such an incredible sense of peace came to me, and God really reinforced to me that this was temporary, and to remember to keep the eternal perspective and that He has conquered this and I would be liberated. I knew everything was going to be fine then.
I was on dialysis for almost 2 years. There were some challenges with infections that brought me back to the hospital and again brought me to situations where I just had to trust and throw all of my problems to God to get me through. He was always so faithful, and always brought me back to His victory on the cross and the peace I could count on when I trusted in Him to carry me through this. Throughout this process, I always had the goal of getting a kidney transplant.
Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us “Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.”
We trusted in God and thank him for making this process so smooth. In March , i was scheduled for surgery. I was a little scared of the surgery, but was finally able to just trust in God, rely upon the cross and Jesus’ victory there, and knew no matter what the outcome of the surgery was, I was going to be carried and taken care of by God and my eternal destiny was secure and to just trust and rest in God’s plan for me. So, again, I just lifted up the situation to God in prayer, and no matter what happened that God would be glorified, and just trusted the results to His will. All I can say is that I came through the surgery miraculously well. God has just brought so much healing, and made the paths so straight with this transplant that I am just in awe and just so incredibly thankful. I know now i will be able to live a completely normal life again and feel so blessed that God has delivered me through this trial so remarkably.
I have so much hope for the future because of God, because of the cross and resurrection, and because I know and have seen how magnificently God has taken care of me already. Mom and I can’t wait for all that God has planned for us. I know that I am still part of a fallen world, and I still have some suffering and disappointments left in my life, but I know that I can trust in God, and I know that God will carry me, and have hope and faith in Him for everything. I have hope, and have seen God work wonders in my life.
Jesus tells us in His final night with the disciples before his arrest and crucifixion that we should expect persecution and suffering. If the world persecuted and brought suffering to Him, surely as His followers we should expect the same:
Joh 15:18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.
We know that our time here on earth won’t always be easy. But, I want to assure you, and I hope you can see God’s power at work in my testimony – in all that God has done for me – that we should have hope. We know that God has conquered suffering, has redeemed the world from the fall. Through faith in Christ – his life, death, and resurrection – through trusting God for our eternal fate, we have hope. Jesus closes His teaching to the disciples, before praying right before His arrest and crucifixion, with this promise:
Joh 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
TAKE HEART; JESUS HAS OVERCOME THE WORLD!
Do you share in this hope with me? Do you know Jesus? Jesus loves us. God desires that everyone would be saved. Paul tells us in his letter to Timothy:
1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
1Ti 2:6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.
Paul tells us in Romans 10:
Rom 10:9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Rom 10:13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
The payment can be send directly to VPS lakeshore. Patient ID number is 364959
Anoop Raj Daniel