April 2023 Viewpoint
We often hear, “There’s more here than meets the eye.” In nearly every situation, that is the case. When it comes to Jodie Hinkle’s testimony, there is much, much more. When she surrendered her life to God after hearing the Gospel message on her car radio, she was only hoping to obtain an assurance of Heaven. Now she testifies that Jesus not only became her Redeemer that day, but also her Healer, Provider, Counselor, and Friend.
As an example, she tells of living for six years with chronic pain, weakness, and limited range of movement due to a back injury. Then she attended a Good Friday service and heard the preacher quote from Isaiah 53:5, “With his stripes we are healed.” Realizing that Jesus paid for her healing as well as salvation, she was prayed for and came to know Him as the Great Physician. From that point forward, she took her children to the Lord when they were sick, and He always proved faithful.
She also testifies of struggling to make ends meet after quitting her job to spend more time with her family. Then she read in Philippians 4:19, “My God shall supply all your needs” and knelt with her children to pray for grocery money. When a knock at the door interrupted them, her family learned about Jehovah-Jireh (“the Lord will provide”). A stranger offered her a job working from home, and the next day, an acquaintance repaid a year-old debt that provided grocery money until her first payday.
Jodie also tells of the debilitating grief she experienced at the age of thirty-three after the death of her mother-in-law. Sister Audrey had been like a second mother to her, and a spiritual mentor and confidant. Jodie battled depression for five months and then prayed, “Lord, I don’t suppose You can remove grief from one’s heart, but if You could, I pray You would do it for me.” In the next moment, she learned that God’s transforming powers are not limited to cleansing from sin. The One called “Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God” (Isaiah 9:6) prevailed and instantly, memories that had previously caused pain now brought comfort.
One lesson Sister Audrey had imparted was that Jesus is the best Friend a person could have. Jodie recounts witnessing this friendship during a week-long visit with her mother-in-law and afterward asking God how to obtain that type of relationship with Him herself. The reply was, “Seek Me first,” as in Matthew 6:33: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” As Jodie learned to lean on God, Jesus became her best Friend and many blessings were added to her life, including the salvation of her husband, children, and grandchildren.
Like the “much, much more” in Jodie’s life, the same can be said of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Until we experience God’s saving grace, we cannot possibly see the blessings the Gospel affords. While we do our best in this magazine to present the value of the Gospel, the only way to truly understand is to experience it yourself!