Day 17: What do you have to offer? - 25 February 2019

By Benescke Janse van Rensburg

Last week I wrote a story about a 16-year-old boy, Dewald van der Merwe from Stilbaai. He risked his own life when he took his body board, ran into the sea in order to save one of the two elderly missionaries from Scotland who landed in a dangerous current. A reader, who knows Dewald and his family well, wrote me an e-mail telling me how big this miracle really was.

Dewald was born with an immune disease. Since a young age, he is in and out of the hospital. Still today doctors are doing tests to determine the origin of the disease. Every three weeks Dewald has to go of infusion of 4 to 5 hours. Due to the disease, he is also smaller than his peer group. For him, to risk his life, rescuing the woman, was not just a sign of absolute courage, but that God was with him in the water.

Not one of us has never experienced setbacks or challenges in our lives. However, some setbacks fill us with shame - a divorce, an extramarital affair that cost us a marriage, a financial challenge or bankruptcy, retrenchment, an addiction, a broken relationship with your children. And some challenges make it difficult to stay positive - a disability, having to carry the load of looking after a child with special needs or perhaps you are struggling with a disease, like Dewald's, that needs intensive treatment.

I am convinced that the enemy tries to keep us in a place where we feel ashamed of setbacks or desperate about challenges. Why? Because he tries to stop us from experiencing God's healing, forgiveness, and grace in our lives. And if we do experience it, he tries to stop us from testifying about it. Why? In Revelation 12:11 we read, “They triumphed over him (the enemy) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony . . .” And to you who struggle to believe that God can truly forgive you if you have repented and walked away from your past, in Psalm 103:12 we read: “ . . . as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” As soon as we experience God's grace, healing, and forgiveness in our lives, it fills us with a sense of freedom. It strengthens our faith and gives us a testimony of God's goodness.

What did God save you from in your life? Can I encourage you to share your testimony when someone crosses your path that needs to hear it? I know we do not like speaking about our weaknesses, but it can truly save someone else's life. And if it's still hard every day to wake up because of your child's special needs, your own disability or illness that just doesn't want to go away, I want to remind you that God can and will still use you as His instrument (as He used Dewald). All we sometimes need is a little bit of courage and a heart filled with faith in the One who never changes! God bless.

Father God, thank you for Your grace and forgiveness. Please help me to no longer live with shame, but rather to testify of Your goodness. Help me to stand strong in the midst of any storm. I ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

  • Feedback: Join the conversation at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also share your testimony about something God has done in your life.
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